‘House of Hammer’ review: Discovery+ doc argues movie star could be a freak

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It’s made clear in the three-part documentary series Discovery+ “House of Hammer” that no criminal charges have been filed against disgraced actor Armie Hammer – but repeatedly in this devastatingly effective work, you find yourself shaking your head at the alleged monstrosities committed by this privileged and famous figure who seems to have inherited some of the darker tendencies that run through the Hammer family tree.

We are also filled with admiration for the brave women who agreed to speak on camera – women who initially thought they were being wooed like a leading lady in a Hollywood romance, but who quickly found themselves in supposedly real horror stories. Even though Hammer has vehemently denied all allegations of abuse and assault, there’s no denying the sincerity of these women as they recount their experiences in great detail, not to deny the pain on their faces as they relate. their stories. It’s heartbreaking to watch.

Directors Elli Hakami and Julian P. Hobbs are to be commended for handling this deeply disturbing material in journalistically sound and sensitive fashion, as they weave together archival footage of the Hammer family; interviews with a number of alleged victims of Armie Hammer, as well as journalists and Armie’s aunt, Casey, and excerpts from audio and video recordings as well as text messages that provide evidence of the extreme dark side of hammer.

‘House of Hammer’ chronicles Armie’s career, from his groundbreaking dual role in ‘The Social Network’ through a string of bombshells to his resurgence as a major star with acclaimed work in ‘Call Me By Your Name’ in 2017. Married with two children, charming fans on the red carpet and showing off his megawatt smile on the talk show circuit, Hammer starred as the classic Hollywood leading man – but on the networks socials, he initiated relationships with women that would begin with an avalanche of praise, eventually lead to whirlwind in-person romances, and quickly turned creepy, as Hammer spoke and acted in sexual encounters involving bondage, humiliation and, in some cases, alleged assaults.

“I had lost all my sense of myself,” says Courtney Vucekovich, a Dallas businesswoman. “I surrendered to him 100%…he used me in every way humanly possible for months, and I left him.”

An ex-girlfriend who goes by the name ‘Effie’ (her last name has not been publicly revealed) says Hammer raped her for four hours in Los Angeles in April 2017. Another ex, Paige Lorenze, speaks of Hammer’s “high protocol parties.” in which he brought knives and paddles and other “obedience tools,” and says he carved her initial into it. “It’s all built around inflicting pain,” says Lorenze.

We hear a voicemail from Hammer in which he talks about “showing up at your house and completely tying you down and incapacitating you and then being able to do whatever I want.” We see a text in which he says: “I am 100% a cannibal”, and a handwritten note that he left for a woman he had not yet met at the time, saying: “I will bite the f– – out of you.

A considerable amount of time is also spent on Hammer’s family, including his great-grandfather, Armand Hammer, who made his fortune with Occidental Petroleum and was involved in all sorts of dodgy dealings, including illegal financial contribution. Nixon’s Watergate fund; Armie’s father, Michael, who inherited most of the family fortune and had his own share of demons, and Armie’s aunt, Casey, who is estranged from the family and says she is stepping forward to help stop the cycle of allegedly abusive actions by members of the Hammer family.

As you’d expect, Armie Hammer declined to be interviewed for the series. He went to rehab for sex, drug and alcohol issues, he was dumped by his talent agency and publicist, he was replaced by Josh Duhamel in Jennifer Lopez’s romantic comedy “Shotgun Wedding” and Miles Teller in the Paramount + series “The Offer”. and he currently has no known upcoming acting work.

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