Peter Strickland does nothing by halves. In Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy he created unique worlds in which reality was just outside our grasp. With In Fabric he is here to challenge the upcoming Suspiria remake with a very British horror with obvious Argento influences.
Marianne Jean-Baptiste plays Sheila, a newly single mother who wants to get her groove back. Part of the process involves buying a new red dress from her local demented department store, Dentley & Soper’s Trusted Department Store, which may as well be run by the Three Mothers. The red dress in question has a deadly past and through the film we see it has a deadly present and future too. You really do need to see the film for yourself and let the plot unfold. You’ll learn the joys of washing machine repair and never look at a mannequin the same way again.
The film is a delightful mix of the sexual, the surreal, and the satirical as Strickland makes his own new genre of giallo comedy. The vibrant colours, synthetic sounds, and miscellaneous European accents delivering cryptic dialogue scream giallo while appearances from some of Britain’s finest, including Julian Barrett and Steve Oram, add a comedic air to proceedings. The result is an undefinable, irresistible cinematic stew.
Both hysterical and hysterical this is one of the films of the year so far.