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Wound - ILA Films Print E-mail
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Written by Ray Casta   
Sunday, 17 April 2011

Wound DVD Artwork on Severed Cinema

Directed by: David Blyth
Written by: David Blyth
Produced by: Andrew Beattie
Cinematography by: Marc Mateo
Music by: Jed Town
Cast: Kate O'Rourke, Te Kaea Beri, Campbell Cooley, Sandy Lowe, Brendan Gregory, Ian Mune, Maggie Tarver, Chrystal Ash
Year: 2010
Country: New Zealand
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 76 min

Official Website: Wound
 

It's difficult to put the emotional intensity of "Wound" into words.  The latest effort from New Zealand filmmaker David Blyth (who directed the 1984 "Death Warmed Up") is every bit as mystifying as it is provocative.  There are two sides of a tunnel: pure darkness, and a glimmer of light.  This is a labyrinth of a film trapped within the tunnel that is the mind.  Unfathomable darkness wins over the light.  "Wound" entrancingly ventures past the shadows towards a stark revelation.  Truths are brought into focus, and thoroughly examined.  New meaning is given to the haunting images on screen, and we are able to look at the material with a different point of view.  With "Wound," a seemingly simple story has been woven into a diary of pain and suffering.

The film opens with Susan (Kate O'Rourke) who greets her father into her home.  Apparently, it's been a long time since they've last seen each other.  He has came a long way to see his daughter.  She tells her father she left the house exactly how he left it.  He looks around for a bit and soon gets clobbered over the head with a baseball bat.  He awakens to find himself tied to a chair, in a dark room.  He wonders why she is doing this to him, but he abused her when she was a young child.  She wraps a cord around his throat and eventually kills him.  However, she is not yet finished with him.  After she buries her father's body, the film progresses and delves into just how deep her emotional turmoil runs.  Plagued by the demons of her past, Susan is a tortured soul.  Hence, "Wound" is a nightmarish descent into personal hell.

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Part psycho-sexual drama/part supernatural horror, "Wound" is filled with gothic imagery and symbolism.  On a surface, the film may seem like an exercise in sexual perversion.  There is a strong presence of S&M that runs throughout, and the master/slave theme is explored through the relationship between Master John (Campbell Cooley) and Susan.  Watching them interact with each other is fascinating.  Their relationship is run like a business.  It seems as if "pleasure" is not a main goal.  Something deeper is going on here, something that motivates Susan to "take charge."  She is subsequently propelled by omnipotent forces to act against her will.  While her story remains in the forefront, the story of Tonya (Te Kaea Beri) is also told.  The film is driven by the grief and isolation of the lead characters.  Guilt is a major theme.  Everyone deals with loss in their own unique way.  These characters are shaped by the loss which defines their lives.

Visually, the overall vibe of "Wound" is strongly reminiscent of Luis Bunuel's films.  Surrealism drenches the gloomy, malevolent atmosphere of David Blyth's film.  Grotesque and haunting visuals assault the screen.  Marc Mateo's cinematography gives "Wound" an otherworldly feel.  The film is an exercise of mood, but it's grounded in its characters and their drama.  The characters may be fictional, but their pain is very real.  Kate O'Rourke is stunning in a daring performance, as Susan.  Weaving through fantasy and reality, the cinematography wonderfully parallels with her character's fragmented psychosis: intensified and hallucinatory.  Key performances all convey a succinct level of creepiness and uneasiness to the proceedings.  Campbell Cooley is chilling as Susan's S&M master with his calculating and cool demeanor, and Te Kaea Beri projects quiet innocence to creeping madness.

In its native New Zealand, "Wound" was met with some controversy.  The public believed the film should be banned.  This is an adult film, albeit one that deals with some strong subject matter.  But there is a reason for everything that happens on screen.  Every piece of dialogue serves a purpose, the characters are archetypal and the visuals are crucial to uncovering layers of the film.  After the opening scene of violence, viewers may expect the film to unfold a certain way.  That is not on David Blyth's agenda.  His plot refuses to comply to convention as it reveals one layer of mystery after another.  He drops evocative ideas that inhabit the film: eroticism, loss, and the skewed way we look at things.  There are shots of a camera's perspective of Susan throughout and a webcam.  In "Wound," nothing is what it seems.

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Despite its lurid subject matter, "Wound" is not gratuitously exploitative.  It intelligently looks at its challenging themes and raises moral questions of childhood abuse, guilt and responsibility, toying with notions of perception and gratification.  Of recent memory, most directors do not have a proper handle on the length of their films.  It's refreshing David Blyth understands not to belabor the point by making "Wound" just the right length, clocking in at only 76 minutes.  The budget shows a few of its constraints, but the gore is plentiful and capable for what it sets to achieve.  There is a castration, an eyeball gouge, slit throats, and the blending of menstrual blood and urine.  Not to mention, "Wound" features what is possibly the most twisted birth sequence I have seen on film.

As a brilliant piece of splatterpunk, David Blyth's "Wound" is adult, intricate and paradoxical.  It is open to interpretation and it is sure to provoke debate.  It is about the tunnels of the mind: The darkest places where we house our deepest regrets and secrets.

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

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Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Wound Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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