Disturbing and mysterious things begin to happen to a bartender in New Orleans after he picks up a phone left behind at his bar.
After Under The Shadow, we knew we needed to sit up, pay attention and take notice to Babak Anvari. His deft ability in the cinema was striking, to say the least. Now, with his second feature film, we see that this was no fluke. Wounds is a visceral, disturbing descent into the destruction of a man that hits all of the conventional horror notes with sadistic joy taking viewers on a ride straight to hell.
Anvari opens the film, very cleverly, with a disarming scene in Rosie’s bar. It is here that Will (Armie Hammer) runs the roost as star employee and co-manager of the local New Orleans dive bar. Sharing banter and quips with Will are regulars Alicia (Zazie Beetz) and her boyfriend Jeffrey (Karl Glusman). Everything seems pretty much average for a slow night at a bar. Eric (Brad William Henke), who lives in an apartment just above the bar arrives and starts to stir things up. A group of underage kids led by Garret (Alexander Biglane) comes in and buys some beers. Then the raucous Eric and his pals get into a brawl resulting in a brutal scuffle, and the teens scatter, leaving behind a cell phone. Okay, whatever, a stranger-than-usual night at the bar. Whatever.
“Will starts snooping on the phone and discovers some pretty shocking videos depicting murder and demonic rituals.”
It’s only when Will decides to be the good Samaritan and take the phone with him that things start to go off the rails. Will starts snooping on the phone and discovers some pretty shocking videos depicting murder and demonic rituals. To make matters worse, Will’s girlfriend Carrie (Dakota Johnson) becomes suspicious of his connection to the mysterious contents on the phone, and their relationship slowly begins to unravel. To make matters worse, Will’s patron and occasional fling Alicia starts to have serious concerns about his mental state. Then things get really weird.
Will begins to have demonic hallucinations regarding the practice of connecting with supernatural powers via physical wounds. In a very Cronenberg way, Anzari goes full-on body horror as Will progressively disconnects with reality and begins his fascination and descent into total madness.