Peter Strickland is beloved for his exquisitely tactile European genre homages and his unsettling command of mood. But this screamingly funny, Fassbinder-does-giallo fable, which follows a cursed dress thirsting for blood, is outré even for him.
It’s winter, 1970-something, and lonely divorcée Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) has a blind date. Shopping for a dress, she ends up at an eccentric department store where a witchy saleswoman (delectably played by Strickland regular Fatma Mohamed) sells her the hypnotically gorgeous ‘artery red’ dress. Caveat emptor… Pretty soon, display mannequins come alive with the touch of a retail coven, and washing machine repairs take a sinister turn.
With a cast that includes Sidse Babett Knudsen (The Duke of Burgundy, Westworld), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) and cult comedians Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) and Steve Oram (Sightseers, MIFF 2012), In Fabric’s surreal, sensual delights have been wowing festival audiences all over, including at Austin’s Fantastic Fest where Strickland scored the Best Director award.
“One of the most stylistically ambitious and genuinely overwhelming movies in recent memory … Everything about In Fabric is excessive, and delightfully so.” – 4:3 Film