Armie Hammer's Horror Film WOUNDS Has a Fair Share of Jump Scares and Real Scares - Sundance Review

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With a name like Wounds, I didn’t know what to expect. Am I going to be watching a guy get hurt? Will I be watching a guy hurt someone else? Is Armie Hammer going to be shirtless? But, this film is a great unsettling film reminiscent of The Ring in one sense and The Shining in another.

Director Babak Anvari is back at Sundance again, after having brought Under the Shadow to Sundance in 2016. This time he has some big names and special effects to back up some real fear. Armie Hammer, Zazie Beetz, and Dakota Johnson all do a wonderful job portraying realistic everyday people in this film about a somewhat selfish man who basically invites some supernatural curse into his life.

The movie starts out with a guy who is in a relationship that seems a bit strained, who works in a bar and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere with his life. He is crushing on another girl who is his friend who is also in a relationship which is obvious to everyone, but he hides it well. After a fight late one night in a bar, he finds a phone belonging to some teenagers who were recording the fight. He gets some strange text messages about a mysterious ritual, and when he goes looking through the pictures in the phone, he finds some dark DARK stuff. He tells his girlfriend about it, and then tries calling a number on it. It’s at this point, that basically everything supernatural begins. He starts seeing things, getting strange urges, receiving strange txts. His girlfriend is also having her own bit of craziness going on. It just gets stranger and darker as the film goes on.

Overall, the performances are great from all the actors. It’s genuine and sincere and you feel scared for the people involved. But the real star of the film is the music and imagery. There is some great sound effects and eerie freaky music that make you think you are going mad watching it. In a good way. The director Babak Anvari mentioned that part of his inspiration for some of the sound and music of the film was based on the sounds of hell. Along with the eerie soundtrack was some dark and disturbing visuals that never felt too over the top and disgusting gore for gore’s sake, but rather unsettling creeping up your spine kind of images.

A large use of scary images was simply cockroaches which crawled in many places on screen. Sometimes to add atmosphere and sometimes to jump out at you and make you freak out. Alongside it was plenty of decapitated heads, with a sprinkling of, well, wounds on people. Some are still giving me chills thinking about it.

If you’re in for a scare, check out this movie. It feels like an urban legend in film form, that follows you home and makes you not want to sleep at night. One of the scarier flicks I’ve seen this year.

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