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In Fabric, A Review

in fabric

“In Fabric,” We Welcome You To Dentley & Soper’s, where we have a dress to die for!

While ‘beauty is pain’ is a common idiom, In Fabric (2018) is a British horror film that takes it to the extreme.

Initially, the plot for In Fabric follows Sheila Woolchapel, a bank teller whose recent divorce and unfulfilling work-life incited a trip to a department store [i.e. Dentley & Soper’s]. There, she meets a flamboyant-yet-eerie store clerk named Miss Luckmoore, who encourages her to buy a red silk wrap dress. As one would expect when buying from a suspicious vendor, there is a darker motive other than emptying Sheila’s pockets.

The dress, unfortunately, has a malicious nature that specifically targets Sheila, severely harms her, and assaults anyone she associates with. Despite the suspenseful escalation of supernatural events in In Fabric, the direct threat of the dress would be nothing without its connection to Miss Luckmoore. Among a collection of creepy and disturbing scenes, the clerk and her shady cohorts increasingly illustrate a nefarious side to their business –even with unclear intentions. In combination with the dress’ history, the Horror behind these supernatural elements is tailor-made for the deadly and seemingly indestructible entity that the garb embodies.

With regard to aesthetic, In Fabric has a specific Retro style that emphasizes its setting in Thames Valley, England of 1982. While certainly accented with visually stunning cinematography, the atmosphere and background details have sold a type of Realism that complements the movie’s Horror. This is not to mention the other genres that play into the film, such as Mystery, Thriller, and thematically-centered Eroticism. The subtle ambience that accompanies these moments have certainly promoted the integrity of this fictionalized world.

the fabric image

What stood out to me the most over all of these characteristics in the film In Fabric is the incredible attention to detail, if not the sinister implications behind most of them. From the old static of a TV ad, to the uniquely different accents between Sheila and Miss Luckmoore, and even to the Latin phrase stitched-in the dress’ neckline [which says “You, who wear me, will know me”], the film does not disappoint in the intrigue. The sinister side to these details is usually highlighted through the film’s featured Still Frames, which have let the audience create their own interpretations.

Overall, the film In Fabric is an experience in itself –that the whole plot rides on a peculiar tone that could be comparable to Suspiria (2018) or The Duke of Burgundy (2014). It can also be a bit performative –‘over the top’, if you will– with the weirdly absurd events that sandwich the Horror and Mystery. In fact, the movie is a bit of a hit-or-miss for the average Horror enthusiast, so I wouldn’t be utterly surprised to know that not everyone would appreciate this kind of movie. With that in mind, I at least enjoyed my time watching this film up to the very end and would encourage everyone to give it a watch.

Just beware the mannequins and sponge baths.

Take a peek at the trailer for “In Fabric!”

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