‘A Wounded Fawn’ Ending, Explained: Why Did Bruce Have Hallucinations? What Did The Owl Signify?

In the human psyche, there is darkness as well as light. When an external factor ignites this dread of darkness or death, the inner demons emerge within them and slowly engulf the victim. Travis Stevens’ film “A Wounded Fawn” depicts the terrifying story of Bruce (played by Josh Ruben), who was overtaken by the accumulated darkness of his mind, causing him to experience agonizing delusions and commit a series of murders. However, the evil demonic self within him had to come to an end someplace where his evil deeds would be punished. So, let’s be specific about who ultimately punished Bruce in order to rescue him for good from his troubled illusion.

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Spoilers Ahead


‘A Wounded Fawn’ Plot Summary: What Happens In The Film?

The film begins with an auction in which several private art collectors and museum curators are seen bidding on a rare antique sculpture called “The Wrath of Erinyes.” Kate Horna (played by Malin Barr), who offered the highest sum, won the piece. When she arrived home, Bruce came to her doorstep and informed her that his clients had insisted on him purchasing The Wrath of Erinyes from Kate for twice the price that she had paid. Kate let him in, and after a little conversation, Bruce’s true intention was revealed. Bruce’s hand began to tremble, and he imagined an owl-shaped figure standing by the door. Bruce murdered Kate with a sharp object. When Bruce saw Kate’s bleeding body on the ground, he urged himself to stop, but he had already done the job. The scene transitions to Meredith’s story, where we see her speaking with her therapist. Meredith (played by Sarah Lind) is a museum curator who had recently left an abusive relationship, so she wanted to date and establish a new one. She met Bruce, who piqued her interest, and they began dating. Bruce and Meredith decided to go on a trip to Bruce’s cabin in the woods, which was located outside of town. As soon as they arrived, Meredith began to feel uneasy in his cabin, surrounded by the dismal and desolate forest. She warned Bruce that she could sense some horrific existence there, but Bruce ignored her. Due to Meredith’s repeated requests, Bruce finally consented to accompany her back to town, but something else was on his mind. The owl-shaped entity again approached him and wanted him to kill Meredith. Meredith, on the other hand, discovered The Wrath of Erinyes on Bruce’s desk and texted a photo of it to her friend. Meredith was alerted by her friend that the woman who had won the piece from their museum at auction had gone missing. In the meantime, Meredith was grabbed by Bruce, and he stabbed her the same way he had stabbed Kate. But Meredith wasn’t dead; instead, she spun around, stabbed Bruce in the eye, and fled. The story also delves into how Bruce spent his final moments in terrible hallucinations before meeting his end.

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Why Did Bruce Have Hallucinations?

Following Meredith’s departure, we see Bruce go through a bizarre delusion. He saw Kate’s ghostly spirits tormenting him in the middle of the night, but what may be the cause of this hallucination? Let’s be specific about that. As we witness Bruce pleading for relief from his painful delusion, he comes across a scary deity who tricks him into extracting a little piece of flesh from inside his skull. When he took this flesh out, it resembled a duckling. It was most likely just Bruce’s brain tumor. Bruce might have had a fatal condition that affected his nervous system, producing his hand tremors. This might be one of the reasons Bruce felt inadequate and unattractive since he knew he was living in fear of death. While he was always terrified of death, he desired to be the source of fear in the lives of others. Bruce was actually envious and wanted to take everything beautiful he saw. Be it women or any wonderful work of art. That’s why he murdered his former lover, Leonora, and the curator, Kate, and concealed them in the woods outside his cottage. He even stole the Erinyes statue, which he found most appealing. His medical condition may have gradually driven him insane, causing him to see a terrifying apparition on a regular basis, but he had no idea that the terrifying figure was none other than the evil self within him. Bruce’s dissociative personality disorder prevented him from recognizing that he had two contradictory personalities coexisting inside his mind. One murders innocent women for the sake of possessing their beauty, and the other feels regret for it. As his evil side grew stronger, he lost control and committed murders one after the other. Finally, he had to confront his fate. The evil within him plagued him so much that he refused to recognize his culpability and instead blamed the fictitious owl apparition. He was even on the verge of death, trying to purify himself, yet he claimed that he had done nothing wrong. But the darkness and demonic appetites between them turned out to be the particles of his perverted brain, which had an inexhaustible need for violence and had to be punished for putting an end to it. Therefore, we witness him commit suicide after completely losing his sanity.


What Are The Erinyes? What Did The Owl Signify?

The treasured piece of art that Kate Horna won is centered on Greek mythology. The Wrath of Erinyes is actually about Greek deities called the Erinyes or Furies, who are significant characters in Greek mythology. The Erinyes, or Furies, were Megaera, the grudging; Alecto, the unceasing; and Tisiphone, the punisher of the murders. They were actually three sisters who were born from the bloodshed of Uranus after his son Cronus had castrated him and thrown his genitalia into the sea. These three deities usually appear to be goddesses of vengeance or justice. It is said that the Furies usually inflict excruciating torture on the perpetrators of guilt until the victim becomes insane. One of their best-known myths is about Orestes, who murdered his mother Clytemnestra in order to avenge his father Agamemnon’s death, prompting the Furies to torment him. Meredith notices a picture in her museum of Orestes being followed by Furies, and if we look attentively, we can see Bruce in his final moments wearing a white cloth, much like Orestes in the painting. The spirits who came to punish him at the end were not ghosts but the Furies themselves. However, Bruce imagined the Erinyes to be his murder victims who had come to him to exact revenge for their deaths. The Erinyes offered Bruce one more chance to confess his crime, but he failed to accept that the darkness was inside him. The Erinyes tried to extract his inner evil that sought to burst out via Bruce’s brain, but he was unable to release it. As a result, the tormenting spirit within him compelled him to commit suicide.

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According to legend, the Erinyes punished murderers who had killed their own parents, much as Cronus killed Uranus, giving birth to the Furies. However, Bruce here murdered three ladies who most likely represent the Erinyes. Another thing to note here is that when Meredith questioned Bruce about his parents on their trip to the woods, he took a long pause to respond as if he was reminded of something terrible from his past. He mentioned that he lost his parents when he was a child, which implies that Bruce may have killed his parents for some reason, making him more prone to be the victim of the Erinyes’ wrath.

Other versions, in addition to the Castration of Uranus, explain that the Erinyes were the offspring of the Goddess of Night, Nyx, who had another child named Keres, the deity of violent death. The description of Keres mentions its wings and bird-like features, implying that Bruce’s hallucinating owl image may represent Keres, who appeared to Bruce on multiple occasions to lead him to commit heinous murder. However, I believe Bruce imagined this appearance because he had studied Greek mythology intensively and became attached to it. Eventually, he saw the owl form in front of him being dismembered, signifying that the figure was simply a shape of his inner vileness. It was impossible to remove Bruce’s inner darkness unless he admitted to himself that he had committed such heinous acts, but he eventually refused, which served as his final punishment.

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Final Words

After his debut, “Girl on the Third Floor,” Travis Stevens established himself as one of the most prolific horror directors. “A Wounded Fawn” is another outstanding work by him. Aside from the film’s incredible blend of serial killing horror and Greek mythology, the color palette is brilliant, transporting you to the 1980s. The gloomy cinematography, as well as the bright red blood of the wounded Bruce, may remind you of iconic horror films from the 1980s. The pacing and writing of the film add to the suspense, and the psychedelic visuals at the end are particularly intriguing. So, for a fan of good and intelligent horror, “A Wounded Fawn” can be added to the recommendation list.


“A Wounded Fawn” is a 2022 horror thriller film directed by Travis Stevens.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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