A Wounded Fawn is a strange mix that should not work. It takes elements of cabin in the woods horror, adds a little of the outrageousness of Evil Dead, includes a heavy dose of Greek mythology and throws it all together with an arthouse aesthetic. The whole thing should be pretentious and off putting. It ends up being one of the most interesting movies to come out of Tribeca.
Bruce (Josh Ruben) and Meredith (Sarah Lind) are going away for a weekend trip. Meredith has been trying to get over an abusive relationship and wants to get “laid” while Bruce has other more sinister motives. Things do not go as either of them planned.
Director and co-writer Travis Stevens turns horror convention on its head as the majority of the time is spent watching Bruce deal with the wrath of the Furies. Bruce goes from charming boy next door, to toxic boyfriend, to deranged figure throughout A Wounded Fawn. Ruben is up to the task as he effortlessly switches between the many emotions of his character.
A Wounded Fawn is broken down into three acts that build with intensity. (All three end in violent bloodshed.) Act Two is filled with what will end up being some of the best scares of the year. The film is overflowing with creativity as it takes tropes of the genre and uses them in some very effective ways.
The final act ramps up the craziness and art project feel. The entire movie is filmed in a grainy style that really stands out at this time. There have been many films that have used this look for seemingly no other reason than to say it is an homage. Here, the camerawork adds to the atmosphere. Cell phones almost seem out of place as A Wounded Fawn has a timeless feel to it.
It is difficult to make an “artsy” horror film. They tend to have trouble keeping an even flow and end up frustrating audiences. That is never the case with A Wounded Fawn. The quick cuts and use of Greek mythology is expertly woven into is chaotic tale. The writing deftly handles a topical issue and makes this one of the must watch genre films of the year.
The Tribeca Film Festival takes place from June 8 – June 19. Full lineup, passes, and tickets can be found HERE
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