In Fabric is a new movie by writer-director Peter Strickland. The genres are horror and comedy, but this is far from your average horror-comedy. It has a lot to offer, but definitely won’t be for everyone.
In Fabric certainly does offer a fair amount of horror. We’re talking supernatural elements, murder, and body horror. The comedy part of the movie is different from what you might expect.
The humor is dark, off-beat, and probably not the kind that will make you laugh out loud.
However, do not let that stop you from watching this movie. Writer-Director Peter Strickland is probably what some would label an “acquired taste”. This is just a nice way of saying you’ll probably love or hate his style.
I definitely don’t hate it, but I do see why it’s not for everyone. And I’m not sure I love it, but I do enjoy it quite a bit.
In Fabric is basically an anthology
When you get right down to it, In Fabric is a horror anthology. It features a red dress and everyone it comes into contact with.
The heart of the story is the department store where the dress was manufactured (sort of) and is sold from. We watch the people working there – basically a witch coven of sorts – and the people who shop there.
More importantly, we follow the dress when it’s purchased by someone. In this case, the person who buys it is Sheila. The (pretty damn brilliant) character of Sheila is portrayed by the always amazing Marianne Jean-Baptiste.
Her life is no picnic. She has an adult son still living at home, who never gives her the time of day. The son then gets a girlfriend, portrayed by Gwendoline Christie who clearly revels in being this deliciously bitchy character.
The only thing Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) has going for her, is the fact that this gorgeous red dress fits her perfectly. And it isn’t even her size. Of course, having a dress that is somehow possessed and tends to kill its owner, isn’t without challenges.
The crazy dialogue of selling
You will probably love the dialogue (which could make you laugh out loud) or it won’t do a thing for you. The ladies at the department store move around like the vampire in Nosferatu and speak in a very particular manner.
It’s as if every piece of dialogue from these department store ladies, has been written for a commercial. Really, it’s a delicious little commentary on consumerism, but you have to give into the style. Otherwise, you’ll probably hate this part.
I personally did enjoy it, but my partner here at Heaven of Horror did not. While I might write this review, I do take into account that In Fabric is not for everyone.
For me, this dialogue works primarily due to the delivery from Fatma Mohamed. She portrays Miss Luckmoore who’s pretty much in charge of the department store. If you’ve watched any of Peter Strickland’s previous movies, then you’ve come across her.
Fatma Mohamed is always in his movies and she always turns in a memorable performance. However big or small.
Peter Strickland having fun
Should you watch In Fabric? Well, yes, I think you should. But you do also need to know what you’re in for and just let it consume you. If you’re familiar with previous movies by Peter Strickland, then you have an idea of what’s in store.
As far as In Fabric is concerned, it’s probably his craziest movie yet. But in a very entertaining way. I mean, there’s a credit for “Mannequin Pubic Hair”. That should at least tell you something about the weirdness of it all.
Look, if you know nothing about Peter Strickland and just want to give it a try then by all means, go for it. We need to allow ourselves to have weird and new experiences.
As horror fans, we’re used to things being weird and different. This is definitely something In Fabric delivers on. Well, that and bloody murder!
In Fabric premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018.
Since then it has played at various film festivals including Austin Fantastic Fest (where Peter Strickland won Best Director) and AFI Fest in Los Angeles. It’s still playing at festivals worldwide now. Even at our native CPH PIX in Denmark.
Director: Peter Strickland
Cast: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Gwendoline Christie, Steve Oram, Fatma Mohamed, Sidse Babett Knudsen
A haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store. Follow the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person. Always with devastating consequences.