Don’t call it in.
Jill was happy with this pick because she wanted to see Armie Hammer die, which is as good as reason as any to be excited I guess. I was intrigued because this is the second full-length feature from Under the Shadow’s Babak Anvari. UTS was a properly eerie folktale with some simple yet devastating (on the nerves) effects so I was stoked for this…
Does it suffer from ‘difficult second album syndrome’? Read on friends!
Disturbing and mysterious things begin to happen to a bartender in New Orleans after he picks up a phone left behind at his bar.
Will is barkeep in a cockroach ridden dive in New Orleans called Rosie’s. One night while shooting the shit with his friend Alicia (Beetz) and her boyfriend Jeffrey (Glusman) there’s a ruckus between bar regular Eric (OITNB’s Brad William Henke) and his buddies. Eric sustains a really fucking nasty injury to the face but refuses to seek medical help.
Present at the scene are a couple of college kids who clearly have no business in a bar but get a free pass anyway. In the kerfuffle, one of the kids’ phones is left behind and Will pockets it for safe keeping. He returns home to the frankly lush pad he shares with his girlfriend Carrie (Johnson). Later when he properly looks at the phone, it receives a message from someone called Garret who claims to be scared and is also being followed by something from the “tunnel”. Will somehow manages to unlock the phone and messages Garrett, telling him to pack it in.
In the morning the phone has received some rather disturbing images from Garrett. Carrie is sickened by what she sees and insists Will calls the police. He promises he will. Carrie and Will btw are very much a couple on the ropes, there’s a prominent coldness between them and Will is convinced his girlfriend is shagging her college professor.
When Will visits Eric to check on him, the wound is worse than expected and it looks as though something inhuman is lurking in there. Eric is not a model patient though so there’s not a lot of room to make sure he’s okay.
In addition to his rocky relationship with Carrie, Will has a mammoth crush on Alicia (well, DUH) and is deeply jealous of creepy looking Jeffery. They don’t seem to want him around much probably because all this is so obvious, so Will wanders around town on his own. He doesn’t realise that he’s being followed by one of the kids and meanwhile, he is getting more and more disturbing media sent to the phone, including one of a decapitated head and lots of roaches.
Things go from bad to worse and Will still doesn’t call it in but he and Carrie find a clue to all this tunnel business. A photo of a book called “The Translation of Wounds”. When they call Garrett, an inhuman screech comes from the phone.
There are hallucinations a go go, yet more bug imagery including a roach for a hand and Will finally contacts the authorities. Although he does so with no evidence, having lost the phone and they can do bugger all. Will also tries to get off with Alicia (who reciprocates for a second or two), which pretty much ruins their friendship and Carrie seems to be newly under the influence of whatever the fuck this tunnel is.
Carrie has been doing what any good girlfriend would do: try to find out more about Garrett on the internet. Later Will receives a visit from “Garrett” to their home.
Reader, it’s a lot and I’m not sure I followed
all any of it. I liked it well enough but it lost me.
The ending is (semi)satisfying, horrible and weird af – and I think it went some way toward my enjoyment. Hammer, despite being above averagely handsome also has a little bit of the everyman going on here and I think that probably worked in his favour for this role. Will is a non-entity which is one of the accusations thrown at him by Carrie when she finally breaks up with him. She calls him empty and perhaps that’s the whole point.
Both Johnson and Beetz are kind of wasted here, they don’t really have much to do beyond being connected to whiney Will but I like seeing them both.
I don’t know, Wounds has an intriguing premise and some strong imagery but doesn’t quite bring it home. It might be a grower though. Some of the best things in life are.
Starring: Armie Hammer, Zazie Beetz, Karl Glusman
Director: Babak Anvari
IMDB Rating: 4.1/10
My Rating: 3/5
What does my wifey think of this one? Would she slice its face open in a bar brawl or let it go home unscathed? Most importantly is she satisfied by Arnie’s fate? Find out here.
Read my review of Under the Shadow here.