In Fabric (2018) Poster

(2018)

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4/10
Half good, half overstretched
barbarahell7 June 2019
I had the opportunity to watch the preview with Q&A with Peter Strickland, and the useless questions from the audience, eager to show they had some knowledge and references instead of genuine questions, did not allow me to ask the director: why didn't you stop after the first half ? I enjoyed this first part, stylish, quite funny, and it could have ended like that, we had got it. The second half of the film was in my opinion un-necessary, adding nothing else to the plot and even making the movie feel too long. A bit like too little jam on too long a bread slice, it lost its taste, and became repetitive, over the top and I must say quite boring in the end. Sometimes, a short story is better than a novel. The things which are really FANTASTIC about this film are the soundtrack and music. You might want to watch it just for that!
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8/10
In Fabric
ainhozara7 October 2018
Watched it in SSIFF and absolutely loved it. The audience laughed and gasped throughout the whole film and the soundtrack fitted the atmosphere perfectly. I loved the aesthetic it had, even though the screenplay sometimes made little sense. % 100 recommend if you are looking for a different film!
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2/10
Terrible
jandb-3221027 July 2019
It wasn't funny enough to be a comedy-horror, so it was just boring and way too long. It had the concept to be good, but didn't quite deliver. Give it a miss.
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5/10
Art for the sake of art...Not much substance...
tchitouniaram4 September 2019
Art for the sake of art...Not much substance... It' like a mixture of"1984" with "Rubber",with a try to imitate David Lynch,Dario Argento and Cronenberg all at once...The result is very artful,but fails to really engage and excite,like the films of abovementioned Masters...All in all 5 stars for a good visuals,acting,music. One time watch,doesn't go into the collection...
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2/10
If you fast-forward the movie, you might get the wrong idea that this movie could be decent
mikhail_komiakov30 August 2019
"Berberian Sound Studio" was an ok movie. The style was there, the ambience too. Though the ending showed some lazy writing. It was completely missing. If you'll turn off your TV, it won't make any difference. But this flick right there goes way too far than some sloppy writing. It just plain bad.

It's considered to be a comedy, but it wasn't even that bad so I could giggle because of its ridiculousness. Peter Strickland definitely tries to imitate David Lynch's and Jim Hosking's comedy style, but does it very poorly. The dialogs that intended to be funny are just tidious and boring.

The whole thing is a mess. The artsy editing that makes no sense, the unfunny jokes that make you raise your eyebrow, the uninspired script that drags for two hours and (for no one's surprise) ends stupidly.

There's nothing much to say about it. It seems that they didn't even try to make a decent movie. It fails as a horror, it fails as a comedy, it fails even as a "too bad it's good" type of film. The only thing thing it delivers is some pretty stylish images. I guess it's more then enough for all the public and critics to claim to enjoy it.
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2/10
So bored...
geosin-870271 September 2019
So bored of great movie makers getting great artists to get get together to make really bad movies. This had the potential to be great. But it ended up being... Meh! So much of this movie was DONE in the 60's and 70's Every actor worked their socks off. I doubt they ever had a view of the psychedelic nonsense that ruined, what could have been a half decent comedy/horror. Was neither one thing nor the other. Thank God for Julian Barratt to keep it where it should have been. Watch only very drunk...
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7/10
Very strange, very stylish, very funny, but not for everyone
Bertaut10 July 2019
One of the most visually and aurally accomplished filmmakers currently working, writer/director Peter Strickland has thus far enjoyed considerable critical acclaim and some limited arthouse, but has been unable to make much of a mainstream impact. Not that he seems remotely bothered by this, as his latest, In Fabric, is easily the most impenetrable work in his oeuvre. Although he definitely flirts with embracing the transformative power of fine clothing, he is far more interested in mocking some of the more crass elements of consumerism, particularly the pernicious lure of "the bargain", and the herd mentality manufactured, maintained, and exploited by retail corporations during Black Friday (an event that if witnessed by aliens would surely lead to them judging us too intellectually rudimentary to bother conquering). In Fabric's biggest problem is that it's made up off two loosely-connected storylines, but because the first one is so much more interesting, it leads to some narrative slackness in the second half, and all in all, it's not a patch on his best work to date, The Duke of Burgundy (2014). Nevertheless, it's brilliantly acted, looks (and sounds) amazing, has an unparalleled commitment to the more tactile elements of the medium, is exceptionally funny, and will never allow you look at a washing machine repairman in quite the same way again.

Set in a London suburb at an unspecified point in the 1980s, the film tells the story of bank teller Sheila Woolchapel (Marianne Jean-Baptiste, playing the role as if she's in a piece of 1960s social realist cinema). A recently-divorced mother to a teenage son, Vince (Jaygann Ayeh), whose girlfriend Gwen (Gwendoline Christie having an absolute blast) seems to have moved in without asking, Sheila's life is in a rut. Having recently placed a lonely-hearts ad in the paper, she has an upcoming date, is determined to make a good first impression, and so visits a Dentley & Soper department store looking to buy something nice in the January sales. All but accosted by Eastern European sales assistant Miss Luckmoore (Strickland regular Fatma Mohamed, who gleefully plays the role like she's in a Halloween special of The Simpsons (1989)), she is talked into buying an "artery red" dress. However, it doesn't take long for Sheila to realise that something is not entirely kosher about the garment - from prompting dog attacks to trashing her washing machine to floating above her bed, clearly the dress is as nefarious as a Dublin-made shell suit (although it looks slightly less ridiculous), and has nothing but bad intentions for Sheila. Meanwhile, the wedding of washing machine repairman Reg (Leo Bill) and his fiancée Babs (Hayley Squires) is fast approaching; Sheila's micromanaging bosses, Stash and Clive (a hilarious Julian Barratt and Steve Oram, respectively), have some concerns over her method of shaking hands; Luckmoore and her boss, Lundy (Richard Bremmer), spend their free time doing something questionable to a mannequin; and a game of Ludo between Sheila, Vince, and Gwen redefines the term passive-aggressive.

In Fabric is fundamentally a consumerist satire, along the lines of Dawn of the Dead (1978). The malignant control that capitalism exerts on the masses, the commodification of desire, the exploitation and manipulation of notions of self-worth - all are interwoven into the film's style and texture. Strickland has a real talent for using his themes to elevate style into something more meaningful, and In Fabric provides more evidence of that, with the highly-stylised aesthetic commenting on the ultimate emptiness of retail therapy. Leaning into the artificiality of the film's milieu, Strickland makes no attempt to construct a believable, lived-in world, asking not only how do the customers of Dentley & Soper not realise something is wrong, but so too querying whether our own real-world behaviour is any different when we see an item we've been craving turn up in a sale.

With that in mind, although this is not an especially realistic film, it is an absolutely gorgeous film, and gleefully embraces gaudy 70s kitsch. Reproducing the hyper-stylised look of classic giallos, the most obvious touchstone is Suspiria (1977), with Strickland and cinematographer Ari Wegner bathing the film in a lurid colour palette of over-the-top reds, purples, and greens. The other-worldly vibe is helped immensely by Cavern Of Anti-Matter's synth score full of harsh electronic screams and repetitive droning, and the queasy, disorientating sound design by Martin Pavey. Filling the soundtrack with non-diegetic whispering and incantations, the aural design keeps the viewer constantly on edge, as if the evil in the dress has somehow infected the magnetic track - just listen to the sounds of the bargain-hunting crowds in Dentley & Soper, with the incoherent mumbling of their stampede into the store turned into a chaotic, animal-like din.

One of the film's most successful elements, and one of the reasons it's so funny, is how ultra-seriously everyone takes the whole thing. Jean-Baptiste, Bill, and Squires all play their parts as if they're in a Ken Loach film (which all three have been in the past), whilst Strickland, for his part, approaches the whole endeavour with a similar reverence - there's no winking at the audience here, and it's the absence of such winking that makes it all so funny. From Stash and Clive explaining the correct etiquette when meeting the mistress of one's boss to the sexual power that Reg has over women once he starts explaining the inner workings of a washing machine, the film's humour is rooted firmly in the fact that no one acts like they're in a comedy (just look at the Ludo game from hell or the scene where Stash and Clive discuss the difference between "looking for staff" and "trying to find staff"). The scenes of the dress crawling around Sheila's house are especially funny partly because they look so ridiculous (you can all but see the wires leading off-camera), but mainly because Strickland treats them with complete sincerity. A film about an evil dress shouldn't work on any level except parody, yet it's precisely because the film doesn't seem parodic that it works so well. This is particularly true of the insane proclamations uttered by Luckmoore ("the hesitation in your voice is soon to be an echo in the recesses of the spheres of retail"; "our perspectives on the specters of mortality must not be confused by an askew index of commerce"; "dimensions and proportions transcend the prisms of our measurements"; "did the transaction validate your paradigm of consumerism?"). This is pure verbal diarrhoea, and can only be in any way effective if it's roundly mocked. And yet, it's the utter dearth of mockery that renders each statement so hilarious.

In terms of problems, by the very nature of what he's trying to accomplish, Strickland is somewhat guilty of allowing the film's sensual elements to overwhelm the characters. Certainly, the film burrows under your skin and lodges there, and Strickland has absolute mastery of the tone, but aside from Luckmoore, none of the characters really linger because none are especially interesting as people. From an emotional point of view, there just isn't a huge amount of empathy or pathos. Also, because the Sheila plot is so much more interesting that the Reg plot, the film seems front-loaded, which is never good. And although it didn't bother me, some people will really dislike the amount of loose ends, unexplained background elements, and narrative dead ends, especially in the last act.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed In Fabric. Yet more evidence that Strickland is a master stylist (in the best sense of the term), the craft behind the film is simply beyond reproach. Feeling for all the world like a rediscovered giallo, lost for the last four decades and restored to its original glory (complete with very questionable dubbing), it's cryptic and impenetrable, but so too is it hilarious and a feast for the senses. No one makes films quite like Strickland, where the existential and esoteric rub shoulders with the tactile and the sensual, where the textures of the milieu leap off the screen right alongside the themes. Hypnotic, seductive, immensely enjoyable, In Fabric is quite unlike anything you'll see all year.
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4/10
Fails to live up to expectations
The_Film_Anorak16 July 2019
Maybe it's unfair on the makers of the film to criticise it for not being what I was expecting, but In Fabric does set some expectations with how it is marketed and how the film starts. What I was expecting was some sort of Giallo-style headtrip of a film with supernatural elements, but with a backdrop of quirky 80s suburban England. A sort of Dario Argento meets Mike Leigh.

That's what I thought I was getting for the first 30 to 40 minutes of the film but then it seemed to lose its way. The atmosphere, the sympathetic but troubled protagonist played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste, the strange and perverted department store in an eccentric Thames Valley Town - I was loving it and couldn't wait to see what happened next. Then it just failed to pay off, carried on going, carried on failing to pay off, then half-heartedly tried to become a compendium story and meandered off into nowhere. There was a belated attempt to give it a kind of shocking climax but by then all atmosphere and interest had gone out of the film.

I find that when I try to describe the film, it sounds a lot better than it actually turned out on screen. The idea of this film is something I really wanted to see but it didn't deliver on its promise. A lot of interesting and unsettling ideas are just thrown together without tying it together into something that maintains the viewer's interest. It didn't have to make sense, it didn't have to explain, it didn't have to do what I was expecting. But it should have been better and it ended up being very disappointing.
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4/10
What's with the bleeding hairy mannequin?
dieseltech-593171 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie lastnight. Loved the soundtrack. I forgot to drop some LSD so didn't really understand what was going on it. Who were the sellers of the dress? Vampires? I didn't understand the whole mannequin bleeding and curly hair thing. Does anybody? I feel as though part 1 and part 2 were crammed together however it is understandable because I certainly would not watch a part 2 of this movie if ever released. Bizarre movie to say the least.
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6/10
Viewer Beware
ok-patrick26 August 2019
Definitely worth a watch, but as pointed by others, not for everyone. It carries a masterful arthouse 70's direction, editing, color scheme and production altogether, dressed up with weird, repetitive vintage synth tracks and some peculiar cuts at times beyond comprehension. At one point I thought the movie was stuck. It wasn't. You've been warned.
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3/10
Please seek immediate psychiatric help. You May be on a watch list already.
onlinevirtual26 August 2019
We watched the whole thing to end that's the only reason it got 3 stars, apart from that it's not only extremely wierd but that's 2 hours of our life we will never ever get back,
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2/10
In fabric in memorium
fudgesinger14 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
It really was such a load of baloney. Who on earth would return a dress to a strange dress store once the troubles with the dress began? One would have to be either simple of stupid After the death of the first lead - who seemed to live a very thankless existence with a son and odd employers,- within less than an hour, the predictable story such that it was, had run out of steam After 50 minutes,The film makers seemed to have run out of plot too.Yet this was supposed to be feature film! So they decided to repeat it all over again - but with different characters. I had no intention to wait to find out . Having lost patience I walked out .Something which I rarely do.
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1/10
Terrible......just terrible!
barmpa1 September 2019
If you have considered watching this film and have come here for a review it is your last chance to erase any thought of ever watching this film from your mind! I created an IMDB account out of a civic duty for the sole purpose to warn others not to waste 2hrs of your precious life on this film. The only 'horror' with this film is that it was ever made in the first place!!!
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1/10
Awful movie!
tiiu-5342127 August 2019
It was very boring movie. I would give is zero stars if I could! How it is possible that in year 2019 they make such movie? I understand if it was like 90's movie or smth. It was so stupid and boring that i couldn't watch it without playing forward.
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1/10
Don't, just don't waste your time!!
haematophiliac28 August 2019
I read the reviews and started watching, from the intro I started having serious reservations about this, thing.. Nothing makes sense, the story is so ridiculously unrealistic, the characters make zero sense and - just don't, The Room is better than this.
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5/10
Obscure story of absurd
zeionara7 August 2019
As for me the movie is too boring, it looks very old because of applied visual and musical effects and after few first minutes of watching it becomes clear that movie is not interesting and there will not be twists that will make that better. So, I would not recommend to watch this movie unless you love old-scool horrors and strange comedies.
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1/10
Do Not Believe the Fake Reviews! This Movie Is Garbage!
teekieteekybirdie27 August 2019
DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WATCHING THIS MOVIE this movie was SO awful I would give is zero stars if I could! This is the stupidest movie I have ever seen! Horribly boring, ridiculous, cheesy, dumb and made no sense at all! Plus the fake russian accent on the one girl was obviously phony and fake and the british accents made it impossible to understand them and also was annoying. The random scenes with the annoying music in the background is very annoying as well, and made no sense and had no purpose whatsoever, pretty much like the whole film which made no sense and had no purpose to it whatsoever. Basically just about a stupid dress which never rips, tears, burns, but anyone who buys it dies. The first girl died in a car crash, and got a rash, that was IT. That was the only thing that happened. And it wrecked her washing machine. That's all that happened. Nothing else exciting or interesting happens in the movie. It was a huge waste of 2 hours of my time. I have NO idea why this movie gets such a high rating when this movie sucks so bad! DO NOT WATCH IT unless you want to take a nap.
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8/10
Be bold your date will compliment you.
calorne24 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
A weird and wonderful retro ride with sights and sounds that will amaze, amuse and envelop you.

The dialogue is very witty and quirky and made me chuckle and laugh. The bank manager meetings and the date nights were very funny indeed. The dress store was bizarre and hilarious and not entirely dissimilar to a department store I used to work in on Regent Street.

Some of the sex-related scenes were a bit much for me, on the seedy side of grotesque.

Overall though I really enjoyed the adventure and how the film seemed to take one to another dimension altogether.
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8/10
Disturbing But Compelling Arthouse Horror
Pairic11 July 2019
In Fabric: A dark horror film with elements of twisted humour. The fashion police need to pay a call on the store which is having a sake, with a special on a red dress which seems to be possessed, literally a dress to kill. Influences from Italian horror movies and fashion films abound but Peter Strickland puts his own auteural stamp on this flick. A satire on sales - customers get into fights with each other and the staff - mixed with 60s/70s style psychedelic tv ads and newspaper montages advance a possible critique of consumer culture. But the emphasis is most certainly on Horror.

The head sales assistant exudes an aura of Vampirism which is emphasised as she is dressed like a 19th century Spanish Widow as are the rest of the staff apart from the decrepit and ancient manager who resembles Bela Lugosi after a hard night on the booze and drugs. But he comes to life when rugby-tackling a shoplifter. Shop dummies are treated as if they were alive and some events in the film make you wonder about this. The red dress causes distress and skin rashes to wearers, it comes to life and attacks people.

The film also relates to the dating scene and modern management-speak but the dress is the real star. Peter Strickland has delivered a convincing horror movie which will shock and offend some people. Not for the squeamish. 8/10.
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2/10
Had high hopes - but very dissapointed
rob_todd118 October 2018
I loved Duke of Burgandy and had high hopes for this film, but was very disappointed. Reasonable acting and direction. But pointless. Saw at London Film Festival and so far 4 out of 4 films have been poor. First time I've said that after years of going!
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7/10
Well it's certainly a, erm, thing??
donttouchmeprimate31 August 2019
I'm sure this movie had all subtle and deeper meanings in its story, that expressed certain aspects and parodies between a species of consumers and the human condition, but I didn't get it. There were moments where I thought I was starting to understand but I'm ultimately too dumb so...

It's an interesting and engaging film with a fantastic cast. I may not know what I just saw but I know I enjoyed it.

I've made no sense have I?
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1/10
Worst Movie Ever Do Not Waste Your Time Do Not Believe the Fake Reviews!
mandymoorexx27 August 2019
DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WATCHING THIS MOVIE this movie was SO awful I would give is zero stars if I could! This is the stupidest movie I have ever seen! Horribly boring, ridiculous, cheesy, dumb and made no sense at all! Plus the fake russian accent on the one girl was obviously phony and fake and the british accents made it impossible to understand them and also was annoying. The random scenes with the annoying music in the background is very annoying as well, and made no sense and had no purpose whatsoever, pretty much like the whole film which made no sense and had no purpose to it whatsoever. Basically just about a stupid dress which never rips, tears, burns, but anyone who buys it dies. The first girl died in a car crash, and got a rash, that was IT. That was the only thing that happened. And it wrecked her washing machine. That's all that happened. Nothing else exciting or interesting happens in the movie. It was a huge waste of 2 hours of my time. I have NO idea why this movie gets such a high rating when this movie sucks so bad! DO NOT WATCH IT unless you want to take a nap.
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1/10
What a load of
anonjay31 August 2019
Worst film ever don't bother. It's like watching a candle burn it's like awww fire but didn't do anything. Way too long at 2 hours. Tells the same story twice, and the endings rubbish. Don't know how it got this score. In fact I gave up after 1 hour and skimmed the rest but 1 hour felt like 2. Swerve
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9/10
Fun, smart, and thoroughly entertaining
firemote-793-2631389 June 2019
I enjoyed Berberian Sound Studio as a technical tribute to Giallo, but felt this movie resonated with a joy for the genre. From the cinematography to the wittiness of some of the dialogue to the Lynchian creepers to the hypnotic potential of appliance repair, In Fabric was drenched in a loving weirdness. Definitely the top of SIFF 2019.
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8/10
Interesting
LordofArt22 October 2018
I'm not one to sit before a ghost story but was wont to see this from the get go. Because I was convinced that the acting would be great, and it didn't disappoint.
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