Film Review: “In Fabric” (2018) ★★★

We all go to fancy stores to buy clothes because the brand, the color, the style and how it fits our body is very important. At the end of the day, we spend good amounts of money to get equivalent quality, isn’t it? What happens in “In Fabric” is close to perfection, however, it has one little detail – the beauty everyone saw in one dress is deadly. Practically.

“In Fabric” follows Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) a divorced woman with a teenage son. When her ex-husband has already moved on with another woman, Sheila still hopes to reconnect with him until she finds out it can’t happen anymore. In a newspaper ad, she finds a note of a man who wants to meet a woman with a common interest. To surprise the stranger, our heroine goes to a local store to buy a dress. The salesperson, Miss Luckmoore, offers one particular dress, a red one, which she promises will do magic. Soon we learn that she was right, as the beautiful outfit will surprise not only the man who is about to meet Sheila but everyone around as well.

Frankly, Miss Luckmoore was right, as the first person who will get surprised by the magical powers of the beautifully striking dress is Sheila herself when she starts feeling it might have been haunted. That feeling won’t appear until the moment when she washes the dress in the laundry machine when the machine starts jumping like a child. That scene alone is a Stephen King-type premise that will deliver an enormous amount of horror through the lifeless device. All that and many more strange things will occur with Sheila and everyone else who dare to put the dress on, eventually delivering only one result – an imminent threat to anyone who puts it on.

Written and directed by Peter Strickland, “In Fabric” is a well-balanced horror film with elements of comedy. Certain scenes, for instance, as when Sheila was interviewed by the human resources operatives of Waingel’s Bank in regards to her time-spending habits in the woman’s washroom. If that example is not enough, then they bring up another instance where her bosses found that her handshake is not convincing enough. What they meant by that is unclear but it perfectly shaped the reality of the real world we live in offered through the short glimpse on the silver screen.

Overall, “In Fabric” is a solid horror drama that does what intended to. It avoids all the gruesome scenes, letting its characters tell their own story. The storyline is delicate and impressive. However, the film itself is far from being perfect. Sometimes, its slow pace seems like it never wants to end, even though it works sometimes. Having offered two different protagonists, the film spreads its possibilities, which is admiring but not quite effective. But all that should not scare you away, as it is still a worthwhile piece of filmmaking, which I am sure you will ultimately enjoy.

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