Wound was made in New Zealand earlier this year and was selected for the London Film Festival. Behind the terrible slaughter we will witness there is a terrible logic. Instead of playing for the victim’s terror, we are treated instead to the insanity of a fetish killer.
A skillful yet excessive rendition of the affected mind, failed mother Susan, superbly played by Kate O’Roarke in a compelling performance, is driven to deeds so terrible you can only share relief to witness the sardonic sessions and nipple torture by Master John (Campbell Cooley), whom she must address as Sir and then with a strictly limited and pleasing vocabulary. That he has to keep warning her that it is pretense serves as a warning. Master John messes with her sense of continuity and her reality setting goes more haywire.
There are moments when you are brought along for the ride not as a willing partner, but fragile inside the broken mind. Terror is etched deeply into Kate O’Roarke’s convincing performance , her fear is both intimate and shared. She lives extreme terror her child hood brutalised by her father’s abuse, but what is happening to her is just as bad as her dream world
Almost too late, the emergency rendition team arrive, ordered by a genuinely concerned Dr Nelson (Ian Mune) to commit his patient. Her demons have already got the better of her as she takes brutal revenge on her father. The inner psychology of following her own line of paranoid reasoning takes the film into a realm where anything happens. In walks her dead daughter and her death mother and every angle of horror can be explored.
The dream visualisation carries us into territory films can not usually explore. Evil turns on a piece of fractured razor glass as severing and bleeding become a chorus. It is her surviving twin daughter returning or a complex construction of grief for her long dead daughter – hard to say which one is worse – the wound ripped open in Susan’s devastated mind commits crimes while she thinks she is running away from them. Or she is, more horribly, running from her little girl now full size, she is horrified by the mayhem and the path it creates for her to escape, in a collaboration of confusion and death. The use of masks and dolls submerge identity and play Susan as a distorted child and this is effective and weird.
This film explores less clitchéd ground than expected from the “slasher horror” genre, it is stylistically revolting while its use of thick blooded imagery is not betrayed by any lack of profoundly sinister ideas.
The film is beautifully captured using Canon digital cameras providing a believable texture. Jed Town’s sound track is a subtle but perfect carrier wave for major talent. This is David Blyth’s second horror film, the first was in fact the first splatter movie predating Peter Jackson by several years.
One to watch.
Rating * * * *
Originality * * *