Fantastic Fest 2022: SMILE & A WOUNDED FAWN

It’s the first day of Fantastic Fest, It was wonderful seeing many faces I haven’t seen since the last festival before the pandemic.  We had an opening party with Goth Marching band Itchy-O The 57 member band with drummers, guitar players, Dancing tigers, floats, and confetti cannons.  We also had cocktail serving robots brought to us by Robotexotica.

I was able to see the opening night picture SMILE and the new movie from great filmmaker Travis Stevens!

Jason Whyte | Get Reel Movies


(USA, dir. Parker Finn)

Having its world premiere here in Austin, SMILE features a psychiatrist being haunted by a curse in which an entity chases you for four days and on the final day the entity kills you. SMILE is clearly influenced by THE RING and IT FOLLOWS but it does not reinvent the wheel and instead gives it a new shine. The film is filled with nightmare images that will keep you awake. It’s a good supernatural thriller! SMILE opens next week in the US and Canada.

Jason Whyte | Get Reel Movies


(USA, dir. Travis Stevens)

This is the third film from filmmaker Travis Stevens (after JAKOB’S WIFE and GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR, both of which we saw at SxSW 2019 and 2021, respectively) and it’s his most surreal film. A woman goes on a weekend date with a guy she just recently met and they are going to a cabin in the woods. The only problem is that she is not aware this new guy is a serial killer.

A WOUNDED FAWN was shot in 16mm film and it gives this current film look like a 70s Thriller. It’s Travis Stevens’ most ambitious work and it’s a trippy film as we get to explore the mind of a serial killer. Like with SMILE it features creepy imagery inspired by Greek mythology. Don’t do drugs while watching this movie. 

Jason Whyte | Get Reel Movies

Fantastic Fest is now happening in Austin, Texas from September 22nd to 28th. Our thanks to Fons PR for assisting with this article. For more info visit!

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