Blu-ray Review: In Fabric

STUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTOR: Peter Strickland | CAST: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Jaygann Ayeh, Steve Oram, Gwendoline Christie, Richard Bremmer
RELEASE DATE: Feb. 11, 2020 | PRICE: Blu-ray $22.55
SPECS: R | 118 min. | Horror comedy | 2.39:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall 

Director Peter Strickland has built a healthy cult following for his eerie and magnificently crafted genre films. They include The Duke of Burgundy, a salute to the kinky 1970s Euro sex films of Radley Metzger (The Lickerish Quartet) and Jess Franco (How to Seduce a Virgin); and Berberian Sound Studio, an edgy homage to the Italian giallo films of Dario Argento (Deep Red) and the nightmarish cinematic world of David Lynch (Mulholland Dr.).

With In Fabric, Strickland proves there’s always room for more giallo.

This unpredictably out-there thriller features Marianne Jean-Baptiste (The Moment) as Sheila, a recently divorced working-class Londoner who decides to get out of the doldrums by purchasing a used red dress at a local department store and go on a date. But the dress brings bad luck and frightening incidents to Sheila, her son (Jaygann Ayeh, The Souvenir) and his girlfriend (Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones). The article of clothing is then possessed by a married couple and unsettling episodes befall them, as well.

Is the dress haunted? Can its inexplicable effects on the garment’s owners be explained? And what of the department store where the dress was originally bought and the ghoulish man (Richard Bremmer, The Song of Names) and witchy woman (Fatma Mohammed, The Duke of Burgundy) who run the store?

In Fabric is an intriguing, impressively stylish and often offhandedly funny film with surprises surreal and satiric. Its chief target is consumerism and the public’s obsession and consumption of arbitrary possessions.

The fact that this inanimate item of particular interest appears to have a life and will of its own is what will make In Fabric in season for many genre fans, most of them of the millennial variety. With only a few features under his belt, Strickland has amassed many followers for his brand of intelligent, unhinged entertainment, and its likely to grow even bigger with In Fabric’s ancillary release on Blu-ray and beyond.

Buy or Rent In Fabric

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.