Susan is a woman who is struggling to cope with her psychological disorders but her world spins out of control when her lost daughter comes looking for her. The nightmares from Susan’s past begin to haunt the world of the present and are destined to lead to a bloody and terrifying conclusion.
David Blyth shook the cinematic landscape in New Zealand with his first movie and the country's first horror movie, "Death Warmed Up". He's returned to the horror scene with his latest movie "Wound" - a movie that will shake the horror genre and redefine what we consider to be horror. While "Wound" is going to be a polarizing movie that will either make you love it or hate it, it's impossible to deny this is a movie that will also change how we describe "extreme" cinema.
David Blyth really broke away from conventions with "Wound"; the biggest aspect that will divide the audience is that there isn't much of a 'traditional' narrative. There is a plot: A psychological damaged woman named Susan is haunted by her past and when her long lost daughter begins to search for her, the nightmares that existed in Susan's past begin to intrude on her present. That's about as simple as I can describe it; but in fact there is a lot more to the movie than that. Instead of simply telling a story, "Wound" lets the images, symbolism, and subtext tell the story. The movie is a modern representation of Luis Buñuel's concept of a movie being a composition of conscious thought instead of storytelling. Only difference being that David Blyth is much more methodic with his scenes and imagery; scenes don't merely exist without reason. "Wound" is the exploration of the subconscious in a damaged mind from incest, and the movie's atmosphere and scenes reflect that.
A lot of the negative criticism the movie receives is because people are expecting a traditional horror movie and this is anything but. "Wound" goes back to what I refer to as 'non-traditional horror', much like "The Bunny Game", Blyth's movie uses non-typical ways of creating the idea of horror that goes beyond simple scares. This is a psychological movie that feels and looks like the images from the subconscious. Much like our dreams, the scenes are strange and unusual and feel a bit disembodied from understanding - but the more you think about it the more you begin to understand. The idea behind the movie is the exploration of the damage that is caused by a single incident - in this case, the character Susan being raped by her father and giving birth to a daughter out of incest. The incestuous act causes a rippling effect in Susan's world that carries into Tanya's world (Susan's daughter) and with all the death and pain that comes with those effects. "Wound" is an exploration in the mind and is a prime example of psycho-sexual horror as everything in this movie relates back to sex and the sex leading to death.
It's very far from being a simple movie as different elements are used to tell different parts of the story and to convey the themes of the movie. Even the dialogue is crucial to understanding the themes as characters recite poetry, and passages from plays, it even recalls ancient mythos that all relate back to the perverse nature of the characters. The various ideas make it a not-so-simple movie and far from being a simple to understand - while David Blyth constructed the movie around these ideas and concepts of sex, birth, life, death, supernatural, fetishism, etc. it's still an ambiguous movie to be interpreted by the viewer. Such as for me, I initially didn't pick up on the theme of voyeurism (tying back into the sex/fetish aspect) but now it seems so obvious. Considering that through out the movie we view certain scenes through the aspect of webcams and security cameras.
"Wound" is not only a challenging movie to watch, but one to review as well. To completely break this movie down and analyze it, one would pretty much have to write a thesis paper on it due to the many layers and themes. I didn't even begin to scratch the surface of "Wound" because there is so much to talk about. I picked certain aspects to talk about, which was the ideas and styles behind the movie, which were far more important, to me anyhow. Technically speaking, it's a very well made movie with truly exceptional cinematography and some good performances by Te Kaea Beri and Kate O'Rourke. Instead of talking about those things, like I usually do, I wanted to cover what makes this a unique movie and what makes it challenging. So, yes, "Wound" is a non-traditional horror movie that does an amazing job to reflect the nightmares of the subconscious. It's also an interesting piece since "Wound" also was created as a social commentary piece touching on taboo subjects, such as incest, and the ramifications of such incidents. It doesn't seem to be recognized though because the concept is buried in the various layers of arthouse experimentation and bloody sexual horror that includes moments of castrations and slit throats. As I said, this is not a movie for everyone. This is not a movie for most people: where a movie like "The Bunny Game" terrorizes the viewer with the horrors of reality, "Wound" attacks with the horrors of the mind with intense imagery. Personally, I would recommend people to pick this movie up but be aware of what you're getting into with "Wound".