We are in the middle of October and that means it’s time to curl up on your couch with a lovely, delightful, charming, nightmarish, terrifying horror movie. Luckily, Hulu has you covered with their Huluween programming, which includes a brand new horror film from writer/director Babak Anvari titled Wounds.
This new psychological thriller is a puzzling nightmare, and I mean that in pretty much every way possible.
Armie Hammer plays seemingly well-put-together bartender Will, the main character we follow in this new horror flick. We are quickly made aware of his budding relationship with Alicia (Zazie Beetz), a frequent patron of Will’s, only to later see him return home to his girlfriend Carrie (Dakota Johnson). There is a sense of tension between Will and Carrie and it’s clear she doesn’t trust him from the beginning.
After a fight breaks out in the bar, Will finds a cellphone left behind by a group of college kids. He takes it home and starts seeing some disturbing text messages on it, kicking off the creepiness that would only intensify throughout the film. He later finds some even more disturbing images and a video featuring a severed human head (creepiness intensifies). Something about the phone begins to affect Will and once Carrie begins researching the situation, she becomes affected too.
To start off with a positive, the cast is fantastic. Hammer plays the role of horror victim to a tee, with believable freakouts and a slow dissent into madness. Johnson plays her relatively easy, almost catatonic role very well while Beetz is a very likable side character who tries to make sure Will does the right thing. The flaws of this movie certainly do not lie on the shoulders of the cast.
The biggest issue is the story, or perhaps lack thereof. Spoilers I guess, but what I described above is pretty much all that really happens. Obviously, there are some more strange details, but to say that 75% of the movie is just progressively creepier things happening to Will would be a fair description.
Wounds definitely does its job of scaring its viewers with dozens of jump scares, tense moments and just a general uneasiness. I found myself looking away form the TV during some of the more intense moments and definitely could not get comfortable while watching.
The story however, just doesn’t deliver. I found myself wanting answers and instead just getting more and more questions throughout. Are these things really happening? Is he hallucinating? Is this happening to him because he’s a bad person? Is he a bad person? If this is real, what is it? I got none of the answers I wanted.
My other problem with Wounds was that no one seemed to react accordingly to the nightmare that was happening to them. I found myself getting confused and even frustrated with some of the characters’ reactions, especially when Will calmly looked at Carrie and said “I think we should break up.” Yeah, of course you should! She just sent you a ghost picture while staring blankly at a demon tunnel on her laptop all night before disappearing into the bathtub! I’d say that’s grounds for separation! Plus, you know, they already had other problems.
I know this seems like it contradicts what I said earlier about the cast, but they actually did a great job of portraying these frustrating characters. Trust me, it was very believable blank staring and bathtub-disappearing. This was just a story that didn’t allow their characters to go anywhere.
Overall, Wounds is an absolute nightmare. Again, I mean that in both the best and worst ways possible. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart as it is a truly unnerving horror/thriller, but it’s also not for those who enjoy a comprehensive story that leaves the viewer feeling satisfied. It’s a shame because the finale is a very powerful scene that will stick in my mind for some time. It just doesn’t deliver the closure the story needed.
Wounds is available now on Hulu.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”