In Fabric – UK, 2018

In Fabric is a 2018 British supernatural horror film with comedic undertones written and directed by Peter Strickland (The Field Guide to Evil segment ‘The Cobblers’ Lot’; Berberian Sound Studio). It was produced by Andrew Starke (The ABCs of Death; The Greasy Strangler; Kill List). The movie stars Gwendoline Christie, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Caroline Catz and Marianne Jean-Baptiste.

There is something odd about the vintage department store in which single mother Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) finds herself looking for a fancy new dress. The store’s employees are seemingly robotic in their stone-faced dedication to sales, the mannequins seem to be whispering to one another, women nearly trample each other to enter as its doors, and its television commercials are hypnotically sinister.

Nevertheless, Sheila buys a lavish red dress. Little does she know, her life will soon be overcome by a series of random misfortunes, supernatural phenomena, and living nightmares. And, it seems, the dress is to blame…

Reviews:

“Strickland frequently captures the dress billowing in the wind, shot against a pitch black background, a shot that is revisited throughout key moments in the film. As a pure image, it is astonishingly, hypnotically beautifully, but it is also perfectly fetishistic, at once a spectral object of desire and horror – a perfect encapsulation of the terrible fascination that the film In Fabric inspires.” Christopher Machell, Cinevue

“It’s easy to admire Strickland’s formal chops while still finding the film–or rather his throwback “flourishes”–a little conceited. Similarly, one is impressed by his brazen weirdness, while still finding that In Fabric can never totally succumb to total dream logic a la Dario Argento or Jess Franco. Ethan Vestby, The Film Stage

“Strickland’s film is visually arresting in the way it works as genre pastiche,  but it’s in the sound department that In Fabric excels; impromptu wails or screams punctuate the archive montages used to establish the era, and there are increasing whispers and audible chatter that pepper the shop floor scenes. It just adds to the unsettling eeriness of it all.” Matt Rodgers, Flickering Myth

” …a freaky mash-up of Are You Being Served? and Tales of the Unexpected, as directed by Mike Leigh after fourteen straight days without sleep […] Challenging, surprisingly funny and never for a second predictable, this is where you come to see what cinema can really be.” Neil Alcock, The Incredible Suit

“Yes, there are some marvelously cheesy, ‘70s European horror images on display here that should totally be this Argento lover’s thing, even shots of the red dress eerily moving toward people like a slasher, but In Fabric is an example of a talented director with a ton of ideas but no idea how to shape them.” Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

Cast and characters:

  • Gwendoline Christie … Gwen
  • Sidse Babett Knudsen … Jill
  • Caroline Catz … Pam
  • Marianne Jean-Baptiste … Sheila
  • Julian Barratt … Stash
  • Hayley Squires … Babs
  • Leo Bill … Reg Speaks
  • Richard Bremmer … Mr. Lundy
  • Steve Oram … Clive
  • Jaygann Ayeh … Vince
  • Susanna Cappellaro … Miss Lullworth
  • Fatma Mohamed … Miss Luckmoore
  • Karl Farrer … Ribs
  • Gavin Brocker … Clipper
  • Simon Manyonda … Neal the Deal
  • Eugenia Caruso … Charity Shop Shopper
  • Pano Masti … Vlassis the Waiter
  • Antonio Mancino … Sandro the Waiter
  • Sara Dee … Cinnamon Bra Customer
  • Terry Bird … Bananas Brian

Running time:

118 minutes

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