I wanted to like In Fabric. So much so that I put off watching it for 2 years knowing that I enjoyed the insidious weirdness of director Peter Strickland‘s other movie Berberian Sound Studio. And In Fabric wears even more of its giallo heart on its sleeve (pun not intended), so I was hoping to feel more affection for a bigger, weirder, more star-studded version of his style.
But everything felt too over-manicured, over-concocted, with comedy coming in from what seemed like actors acting in completely different movies. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it, but it was an un-fun pirouette from set-piece to manufactured beat to symbol that reminds me a bit of The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears (also giallo-tinged, so perhaps there’s a trend).
The movie follows a various owners of an ‘artery-red’ dress during a busy winter sale in a department store most definitely staffed by gothically perverted witches. Characters in this movie are either ruthless or pitiable, but there’s no-one to root for, even if the actors do what is asked of them.
But through sound and photography alone it definitely felt like I was watching a movie right out of the late ’70s Satanic Panic era. It might not ultimately have been for me, but there’s style abound even if no meaning, which perhaps is the message for a slightly-too-long movie about a dress to die for that’s really not all that.