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A wounded deerthe latest film from the director Travis Stevens (The girl from the third floor and Jakob’s wife) adds to the revival of the nostalgic ’70s movie and creates something that’s sure to stand out from the rest. Descend into terrifying mayhem led by an impressive acting duo.

The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival to cheer and also played at Fantastic festivaland will premiere exclusively on Thrill on December 1.

Wounded deer poster

Meredith (Sarah Lind: Jakob’s wife,Wolfcop) is a museum curator trying to re-enter the dating pool after an abusive relationship. She bumps into Bruce (Josh Ruben: Scare me, College humor), a sweet but disappointing man who invites her on a date in his secluded cabin. Little does he realize that this man is actually one mentally ill serial killer eyeing her as his next victim.

The film opens with an art auction surrounding a recently found Greek statue depicting a man attacked by the gods for his misdeeds, shaping the film’s premise.

Cut efficiently in two partsthe first half of this film focuses on what you would expect with a serial killer who lures a new female victim to his cabin in the woods, bearing many similarities to a film like Fresh. The second half turns into something else, surprisingly turning into a different movie that becomes much more sinister.

A Wounded Deer Shiver Original
Some of the weird cinematography in “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Peter Mamontoff/Shudder

A wounded deer it was shot on 16mm film, with plot tropes and shooting styles similar to 1970s cinema and using 1970s-style bright red blood.

The style and color are a highlight, especially since it merges the world of art with Greek mythologycreating frames that could be paintings themselves and a production design that transcends the often drab look of modern horror films.

A Wounded Fawn 2022
Some creature designs from “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Shudder

The special effects work adds to the impressive look of the film. Many of them are practical and very well presented; there is a good amount of blood flowing in this cabin. There are also imaginative designs of creatures similar to Donnie Darko. The critters haven’t always worked for me, but their bold design and uniqueness is great.

The acting in this movie is outstanding. The two leads, Ruben and Lind, have a great dynamic: they have very little chemistry with each other, capturing the feeling of being stuck on a first date with someone who doesn’t click. The story is seen from both sides in different but sympathetic ways.

A Wounded Deer Josh Ruben
Josh Ruben as Bruce Ernst in “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Peter Mamontoff/Shudder

knowing Reuben previously, it was difficult for me to see him in the role of a violent, psychologically affected man; he usually plays a bad character. But in this movie, his psychic side made me uneasy at times.

A Wounded Deer Sarah Lind
Sarah Lind in “A Wounded Fawn” – Photo Credit: Shudder

Lind comes across as a woman who is eager, hopefully romantic, and also confident and secure, perhaps influenced by her love of art. In particular, her love for the famous hardcore performance artist and author Marina Abramovic.

The movie also plays Malin Barr (Honeydew, the beta test) in a role that, although small, has an impact.

A Wounded Deer Malin Barr
Malin Barr as Alecto in ‘A Wounded Fawn’ – Photo Credit: Peter Mamontoff/Shudder

The film certainly touches on aspects that some might consider feminist, although given that it was written and directed by men, it seems a bit simplistic – but hey, I’ll take it.

As Lind is an actress in her mid-40s (though you’d never know it from her flawless face), the film explores themes of how difficult it is for older women to date, and generally how dangerous it is to women of all ages in the same situation. The film, in some ways, could be seen as a female revenge film, especially in the sense of Greek mythology.

The dreamlike atmosphere of this film is aided by some really fun camerawork and editing that seems to have a lot of intention behind it, and some quirky sound design.

A wounded deer it’s not perfect, but it was highly original and engaging for its run time. It raises the basic premise aa male psychotic criminal through the use of surreal and psychological elements. I can definitely see the last half being divisive, but those who like chaotic and trippy horror movies might enjoy A wounded deerin continuous flow Thrill now.

Check out the trailer below.

3.5 eyes out of 5

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