A Wounded Fawn, 2022.
Directed by Travis Stevens.
Starring Josh Ruben, Sarah Lind, Malin Barr, Katie Kuang, Tanya Everett, and Nikki James.
A serial killer lures an unsuspecting new victim to a weekend getaway located in an isolated cabin, in the hopes of adding another body to his ever-growing count.
Audience preferences have changed dramatically over the years. A few decades prior people used to appreciate the odd ambiguous ending filmmakers threw across in the efforts they crafted, but the situation nowadays is completely different. Instant gratification is the name of the game. ‘Don’t beat around the bush, keep it simple and unambiguous and we will have no problems’ they will probably say. Because these are the expectations of modern moviegoing audiences. Which is why movies like A Wounded Fawn get increasingly overlooked in the present era.
I’m not saying that this film is a product of the first water, far from it. The point I’m trying to get across is that original IPs and unique theatregoing experiences have transformed into something of a rarity nowadays. But I digress.
A Wounded Fawn follows the mysterious Bruce (Josh Ruben), an impressionable single man who harbors a dark secret, one which compels him to commit the murder of beautiful young women, over and over again. The double life he leads also sees him experience nightmarish visions during his waking life.
The latest victim to fall prey to Bruce’s faux charms is Meredith (Sarah Lind), a local museum curator looking forward to a romantic getaway in the countryside. But of course, strange things start happening when Meredith reaches their destination – an isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere – and she slowly realizes that something is very wrong with Bruce.
The story crafted by Nathan Faudree and Travis Stevens, is pretty simple and straightforward but where things get real interesting is with the trippy-as-hell visuals and the gnarly body horror sequences. In fact, the latter half of the film resembles the goings-on of some madcap European theatre production. Also, infused with this shotgun mouthwash are heavy influences of giallo horror and a dash of grindhouse cinema.
A fan of cinema will simply have lots to love about this flick, and its abundantly obvious that this third outing by writer/director Travis Stevens (Jakob’s Wife) is his most ambitious one yet. Sarah Lind dishes out a stunning performance as the traumatized lead struggling to break-free of her tormentor. It is a powerful and compelling turn which viewers will find hard to ignore. Josh Ruben shines equally as the demented misogynist trying to slake his blood lust through murder.
A Wounded Fawn is a grisly yet visually evocative mindfuck that harkens back to the oeuvre of Lynch and Cronenberg, in the best ways possible. A phantasmagoria of horror that will leave you stupefied.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Hasitha Fernando is a part-time medical practitioner and full-time cinephile. Follow him on Twitter via @DoctorCinephile for regular updates on the world of entertainment.