In Fabric 💃🏿
This is a strange movie. In Fabric (2018) doesn't care much for the conventional story structure. That may prove captivating for some viewers, but likely jarring for most. For my tastes, Peter Strickland (director) succeeds in cooking up some mesmerizing morsels of witchy visuals and satisfying satire, but somewhere in the middle indulges too much in his in own jokes.
*** spoilers ahead ***
The film's biggest misstep has to be when it kills off Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) to focus on Reg Speaks (Leo Bill). Strickland's intention is surely to unsettle his audience with such a mix up, but he fails to make it engaging enough to be worth it. We get it. He's a bore. Perhaps if his story line only lasted a few scenes, I'd be more forgiving. In contrast, Sheila's story was the comfortable glue that kept the surreal moments from running off with the narrative. Now, avant-garde and unconventional pacing can be done to my liking. I'm thinking of Twin Peaks: The Return as a good example. But In Fabric just doesn't pull through for me.
I was pleased to see that the climax of the film at least returns to the witches and their department store. I wouldn't say, "No," to more of Fatma Mohamed as Miss Luckmoore. The ritualistic sex sequence with the mannequin is a "what the fuck" moment that doesn't need any explanation. It's the kind of demented mix of humor and obscenity that I'll willingly endure. The dry humor in this movie can be real good. The film is obviously taking jabs at consumerism, but I liked it most when it made fun of the managerial class. The scene in which the bank managers advise Sheila on better handshakes was the funniest piece of dry satire I've seen in a good while. Though when the film doubles-down on Reg's monotonous washing machine repair monologue, it gets to be too much.
In Fabric is worth watching for the witches and Sheila's half of the story. I wouldn't blame you if you skipped most of the Reg scenes. I keep hearing good things about Strickland's other films, too. The Duke of Burgundy has been on my watch list for some time now.
This has been day 24 of 31 days of horror.