Wounds is a 2019 psychological horror film written and directed by Babak Anvari and starring Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, and Zazie Beetz. The film is based on the novella The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud.
The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019, and was released in the United States on October 18, 2019, by Hulu and internationally on Netflix.
so it starts out with Will (Armie) working at Rosie’s, a local bar in New Orleans. He’s a pretty charismatic dude, perhaps a bit too friendly with a regular customer named Alicia (Zazie Beets), but otherwise no apparent faults. There is a bit of a cockroach problem in the establishment, but everyone just kinda waves it off. He’s busy making conversation with Alicia and her boyfriend, Jeffrey (Karl Glussman), whom Will openly mocks throughout the movie, when a group of clearly underage college kids comes into the bar.
Will notices they’re underage, but whatever, he serves them beer regardless and goes back to chitchatting when another customer, Eric (Brad William Henke), gets into a bar fight. We learn that Eric is not only a regular but also regularly causes trouble, so this is nothing new until Eric’s opponent cuts his face open with a broken beer bottle. Let me just say this: SO GRAPHIC. Eric starts beating on the other guy and then leaves the bar pretty unfazed despite the fact that his cheek is sporting a NASTY wound, but okay, I guess he’s just a tough guy.
While the fight was happening, the college kids were recording it on their phones and stayed in the bar until they heard that the cops were coming—hellooo, underage?? They then quickly flee the bar, leaving a cell phone behind.
Will picks up the phone and goes home after his shift, taking it with him. By this point in the movie, we have seen him take lots of shots, and when he goes home, he keeps drinking. There are actually very few scenes that aren’t interrupted by him drinking, finding something to drink, or making somebody else drink…like, Will, bb, are you good? The phone starts buzzing, and he figures out the passcode by looking at the smudge marks on the screen like some tech wizard and sees messages from Garret desperately asking for help. Deciding that it’s just a prank, he goes to bed, because, you know, when a number is texting you, “I’m scared!!! Help me!” it’s best to just ignore it??
The next day, his girlfriend, Carrie (Dakota Johnson), wakes up and is immediately suspicious of the phone. She opens up the texts from last night, and we see that a new picture has been sent from Garret: a bunch of teeth in a pool of blood. Yuck. Carrie is rightfully disgusted and tells Will to take the phone to the police, but he still is pretty sure it’s just a prank, so he’s not that concerned about it.
When he goes back to the bar to check up on Eric after his fight, we see that there is a college-age girl in a black car following Will, but when he notices her, she drives away. When he goes up to check on Eric, who lives above the bar, we see that his face is just superrr messed up, yet he refuses to go to a hospital. Also, his place is revolting and he has a confederate flag hanging up in his bedroom, yikes. Will steals a beer from Eric’s fridge and then goes home. The phone buzzes again and Will opens it up to see that there are a bunch of dismembered heads in the gallery. It is very graphic and verrry disturbing.
Jumping ahead a bit, we learn that the college kids got into some creepy ritualistic practice from these books they found that touts something called Gnosticism, and the book says the only way to connect to higher beings is through wounds. Great. Carrie starts to get noticeably possessed by whatever dark energy is lurking in their house, and Will comes home to see her staring at her screen, which shows a portal of wounds. From the looks of things, she has been there for hours and is even sitting in a puddle of urine to prove it. As soon as he shuts the laptop, she collapses.
During all this, we also learn that Will is SUPER into Alicia and gets super drunk with her one night while he’s bartending, drives her drunk to some kind of park, where they make out, and finally, Alicia comes to her senses and tells him to stop. After this, they aren’t friends anymore and Jeffrey is pissed.
My Personal Thoughts
In the last scene in Wounds, Will goes to the second floor of the building his bar is in to visit his friend Eric (Brad William Henke). At this point, Will’s life has fallen apart – partly because of the strange, phone-driven curse that has afflicted him, and partly because he had been in a paranoid, loveless relationship. After dumping his girlfriend and walking out of his job, he needs a place to stay, and pops into Eric, whom we haven’t seen since the start when his face is cut open in fight.
Will finds Eric’s place in a mess, covered in filth and cockroaches. The gash on Eric’s cheek has become blackened from infection and he tries to get Will to leave. In an altercation, Will questions Eric about a supposed gift he was to give him. The gift was from the mysterious group that have been stalking Will since the same night Eric got injured – the ones tailing him in a black car and messaging Will through the phone full of bizarre, bloody images he picked up at the bar. The present is that phone, returned after Will threw it out of his car, which Will finds in Eric’s bedside table drawer.
Upon finding the phone, Will receives another message telling him that his gift is “wrapped in flesh” – and realizes that it’s referring to Eric’s body. Will calls Garrett, and receives a barrage of atonal noise on the other end. He leaves the call on the line, and a swarm of cockroaches emerge in the apartment, while something starts to burrow out of the scarred skin on Eric’s face. As the ritual intensifies, Will asks the creature coming forth to enter him, and, in a clever twist, the movie breaks the fourth wall by having cockroaches start landing on the camera. They obfuscate the monster, the same entity that we’d been seeing in swift glimpses up to this point, leaving Eric’s cheek and going into Will’s mouth before the film cuts to credits.
Where Wounds origin came from ?
The titular “Wounds” are a set of tomes of Gnostic ritual, literally titled ‘The Translation of Wounds’ in Wounds. Gnosticism is an ancient belief system that preaches rejection of the material world in favour of the spirit realm, and that there is a God who is unknowable, who may summon lesser entities called Aeons that we can more directly interact with.
Garrett and his friends, the group of college kids whose phone Will picked up in the bar, had found a set of these books and decided to try some of their rituals out, buying into occultism through online forums. The ceremonies are based around summoning through pain and affliction, hence the need for living flesh to be involved. The images and videos Will saw on the phone, of dead bodies, and something trying to crawl out of a decapitated head, were that group’s adventures in discovering that the Wounds worked.
In the aftermath, Garrett and the phone became some sort of conduit – a connection between the Aeon and our world, who would lead it to a perfect vessel. He found that perfect vessel in Will. It’s an interesting plot contrivance, using aspects of found footage and making Will’s story essentially the sequel to a more formulaic film about a bunch of college students being dumb around forces they can’t possibly comprehend.
What Do The Cockroaches Mean In Wounds?
Through-out the film, Will is surrounded by cockroaches. The bugs act a visual marker for the connective energy of the Aeon, and a metaphor for the toxicity Will has become enveloped in. We first see it when Will is visibly uncomfortable with his friend Alicia, played Zazie Beetz, having a new boyfriend, and they keep appearing in Will and his girlfriend’s apartment.
Later, towards, the end, the spirit brings forth hordes of the creepy-crawlies as its process nears completion, drawing a direct correlation between personal demons and the actual demonology in the film. Living in a stale, toxic life is like living with constant insects – and never enough repellent to deal with them all.
It ends pretty ambiguously with Will going back to Eric’s room to receive a present from the college kids that is actually buried within Eric’s wound. He retrieves it in a very gruesome, very disgusting way, but then it leaves me wondering, WTF does all this even mean?? It started out very strong, I was invested in the storyline, I loved to hate some of the characters, but the ending fell a bit flat for me. Overall, Wounds is a gruesome, feverish, cockroach-infested, alcoholic nightmare…but low-key in an enjoyable way. Call me crazy. And i dont know such a famous and good actress Dakota Johnson why she signed such a bad movie. Even her role was less shown in movie. This movie dont even scary or horror. I will not really recommend this movie to watch because i didnt find good.
I will rate this movie 3/10.
|Directed by||Babak Anvari|
|Produced by||Christopher Kopp Lucan Toh|
|Written by||Babak Anvari|
|Based on||The Visible Filth|
by Nathan Ballingrud
|Starring||Armie Hammer Dakota Johnson Zazie Beetz|
|Music by||Komeil S. Hosseini|
|Edited by||Chris Barwell|
|Annapurna Pictures Two & Two Pictures AZA Film|
|Distributed by||Hulu (United States) Netflix (United Kingdom)|
|Release date||January 26, 2019 (Sundance) October 18, 2019 (United States)|
|Running time||94 minutes|
|Country||United States United Kingdom|