SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE: A Wounded Fawn (2022)

Director and co-writer — with Nathan Faudree — Travis Stevens (Jakob’s Wife, Girl on the Third Floor) combines the slasher, giallo, Greek mythology, art, romance and even comedy all into one strange little movie, one where the antagonist is forced to become the protagonist; one that makes us sympathize with a female character early only to DePalma — and Hitchcock — rug pull and make us realize this is a different film.

Bruce (Josh Ruben) and Meredith (Sarah Lind) seem like they’re on the verge of a connection when he asks her to visit his cabin in the woods. Sure, it’d seem good if we hadn’t already watched him kill someone to get his bloody hands on The Wrath of the Erinyes, a sculpture of the Three Furies.

By the end of the movie, Meredith has caught on and Tisiphone, Alecto and Megaera in the form of his past victims (Sarah Linda, Malin Barr and Katie Kuang) have become alive, seeking to inflict on him the pain he has on so many others, all while he comes to terms with The Owl, a creature that is the darkest side of his mind. It’s kind of amazing that the statue that starts all of this ends up being alive at the close.

This movie also gets its soundtrack right, from Cigarettes After Sex’s haunting “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” to The Tammys’ “His Actions Speak Louder Than Words,” Manfred Mann’s “L.S.D.” and Massage’s “At Your Door.”

I always fret about when a movie starts strong and has such a dramatic turn, especially one that suddenly becomes surreal — spoiler warning — and the world changes quickly, but this totally gets the tone right, even when it’s changing and most importantly, has a strong ending that gets it right.

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