Based on the poster, I expected Wound to be a shocking, violent, over the top attempt at pure provocation. I was happily surprised, then, when it certainly wasn’t. Instead, Wound is a hazy series of grotesqueries, refusing to conform to rational understanding as it presents its horrors. The bad news: Pig Man is only in the film for about two minutes.
NOTE: Mild spoilers ahead.
Wound opens with an estranged father visiting his daughter. The daughter, named Susan, tortures and kills him as revenge for the years of physical and sexual abuse he put upon her with the help of her mother. When she buries him, she covers his corpse with foil-covered pieces of her faeces, taken from a supply she keeps in a meat freezer. The murder and subsequent burial feel ritualistic, almost ascetic. Susan lives and works alone, mostly having imaginary conversations with her dead mother or engaging in a BDSM relationship with a lover who treats her like a therapist would a patient.
Across town, a teen goth girl named Tanya searches for her birth mother, who happens to be Susan. When they collide, any sense of reality gives way to a swinging movements of lust, jealousy, and changing power dynamics.
Nothing in Wound makes much sense, logically, and writer/director David Blyth purposefully uses the audience’s knowledge of film technique against them. He often cuts to video camera footage, which is generally accepted as a vantage point grounded in the real (see Fight Club‘s parking garage fight for a good example). But here, we slowly come to distrust even this footage, as it, too, appears biased or impossible. Tanya’s existence is alternately presented as imaginary and real, the film’s stance often changing within a single scene. Blyth presents therapy – usually used as a tool in films to draw out truth from characters – as a sadomasochistic game, more about overpowering than understanding. As the film goes on, Blyth refuses to stick with any POV or give us any sense of grounding. One could describe this as Lynchian, but this is a more graphic work, and doesn’t have the drifting rhythms of Lynch’s surrealism.
Wound eventually settles into something resembling an answer, but it’s one that doesn’t matter. If I wanted to suggest any definite meaning behind this, it would be something around the way our internal world directly affects our external one. But Wound, like a lot of cinema, doesn’t require such a semantic analysis. It just is, and it is a nightmare.
P.S. I read about this in Kier-La Janisse’s wonderful book “House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films”, which anyone who uses this website should read. Part memoir, part analysis of the archetypal ‘neurotic woman’ in horror films, it’s a moving and in depth piece of film analysis.