It is quite egotistically haughty for the film to fade to black with a Joseph Conrad quote from ‘Hearts of Darkness’. Afterwards, Babak Anvari tinges the film with a psychotropic, Stygian William S. Burroughs aroma around Rosie’s, a cockroach-festering tavern that is the haven of college dropout Will (Armie Hammer) and his barfly companions in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Much like Cheers, Will’s watering hole is the headquarters for underage peons, a biracial couple and bellicose billiards players. Honestly, as viewers, the skid-row introduction is spellbinding and bumptiously funny as Will’s solution to every bottle-shattering scenario and altercation is “another drink”.
At first, Anvari is cryptic about what the thrust of the storytelling will be whether it be the insect overpopulation or the paroxysmal text messages about a “tunnel” on one of the minor’s cell phones. J-horror movies are always chasing the zeitgeist for technophobic terrors and fortunately, Anvari somersaults that au courant hurtle for Cronenbergian body decomposition.
Hammer is seamlessly non-Icarian and shiftless as Will who would rather squander his downtime on video games than any occupational pursuit or lawful responsibility. Of course, the beheading imagery is only phantasmagorical if the context for them is soundly diegetic. Leeway is yielded to Anvari for substantial explanations but the audience is more mesmerized by Will’s ne’er-do-well attitude. Dakota Johnson floats by on subzero energy as Will’s inscrutable girlfriend.
Because of that uneven disparity, the film is cloven into two immiscible halves- the kitchen-sink drama around the libertine, 30-year-old Will and the havoc of the grisly snapshots (the aforementioned “tunnel” is a facsimile of the well from The Ring). Overall, Wounds is a sophomore slump for Anvari as it is crushingly concussive, anemic and misshapen.