With any new relationship, there’s often a fear and concern as you’re getting to know the other person. You never know if they might turn out to be a complete jerk, a total creep, or even something much worse; like a serial killer. Shudder’s latest original film, A Wounded Fawn takes this idea and spins it on its head with a surreal twist!
(Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned)
Opening with a high end auction, we’re introduced to our protagonist of sorts, Bruce (Josh Ruben, director/star of Scare Me and director of Werewolves Within) as he stalks one of the buyers after hours. We quickly learn that he’s a serial killer of women, although he claims to not be in control.
Bruce then starts dating Meredith (Sarah Lind) and we the audience dread for her as he takes on a weekend getaway, intending to murder her just like the others. However, Meredith senses something is off and when he attempts to strike, things take a very dark and trippy turn.
Predator Becoming Prey
Bruce is then tormented by a seemingly supernatural force as Meredith “transforms” into something that looks like the abstract art version of Evil Dead. As we all feared for Meredith’s life, we the audience are now treated to watching the tormentor be tormented, and there’s something about a bad character getting their comeuppance that really makes horror all the more fun.
The “demons” (or Furies if we’re going with the Ancient Greek motif) grill him on why he does what he does, and how many women he has killed. And to all of it, he responds with nothing more than excuses about how there’s some other being that forces him to do it. Thus, we’re never really sure if this is all happening in his head or there truly are supernatural forces at play, both guiding his evil deeds, and now coming after him for them.
And in a strange way, his refusal to accept responsibility only infuriates the demons further and prolongs his suffering. All of this culminates in an incredibly bleak (well bleak for the character) ending for Bruce. But as violent and bloody as his death is, it was very much of his own making through everything he had done.
Josh Ruben has been on quite the horror kick over the last few years and that continues with A Wounded Fawn. He has this unsettling quality to go from fun and charming to creepy at the drop of a hat. You’re definitely rooting for him to be tortured and killed, guilty free of course due to what he’s done. But his level of fear and distress still really sells the fact that this is a character out of his mind and truly afraid.
There’s also a fascinating visual design. When Meredith turns into the “demon”, she almost looks like a kabuki performer. The whole thing has a very trippy vibe to it and looks like a nightmarish work of abstract art come to life. It’s just interesting to look at the entire time. Additionally, it either shot on 16mm film or it was run through a filter to look like it because it definitely has that grain that you just don’t get anymore with digital photography.
Overall, A Wounded Fawn is a movie that very easily could have been your typical Lifetime Channel inspired “date gone wrong from hell” movie. But it has a fun twist midway through, and it’s loaded with cool visuals and a fun performance from its lead. Check it out, now streaming on Shudder!
What did you think of A Wounded Fawn? Let us know in the comments!
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