Jean Oram Biography & Facts
In Fabric is a 2018 British horror comedy film, written and directed by Peter Strickland. The film follows a haunted red dress as it torments various owners. It stars Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, and Gwendoline Christie.
It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 13 September 2018. It was released in the United Kingdom on 28 June 2019 by Curzon Artificial Eye and was released in the United States on 6 December 2019 by A24.
Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is a recently divorced bank teller who lives with her son Vince (Jaygann Ayeh). She is frequently chastised for insignificant work errors by her bosses Stash (Julian Barratt) and Clive (Steve Oram), and intimidated by Vince's new girlfriend Gwen (Gwendoline Christie). She visits department store Dentley and Soper's to buy a dress for a forthcoming date in the sales. After meeting the enigmatic store clerk Miss Luckmoore (Fatma Mohamed), Sheila is drawn to a beautiful, flowing red dress which she tries on. Luckmoore convinces Sheila to purchase it.
Sheila notices a strange rash on her chest after wearing the dress. After putting the dress in the washing machine, the machine breaks down resulting in Sheila injuring her hand in the process of trying to 'subdue' it. Sheila returns to the store to get a new size for the dress only to learn that there is only one version of the dress and that the store model was killed after wearing the dress for the store catalogue. Sheila goes on a date with new suitor Zach (Barry Adamson) while Gwen and Vince have sex. As she climaxes, Gwen is almost killed when the dress floats above her and tries to suffocate her. Sheila and Zach go for a walk together, where Sheila is attacked by a German Shepherd, which cuts her leg and rips the dress in the process. Later that day, Vince returns home with the dress which is somehow now fully repaired. After hearing the dress move about in the wardrobe at night, an unsettled Sheila attempts to return the dress to the store but is refused by Luckmoore. Sheila is then killed in a car accident as she is driving en route to spending the night with Zach.
The dress comes into the possession of washing machine repairman Reg Speaks (Leo Bill) who is made by his friends to wear it on a night out. He is engaged to Babs (Hayley Squires), who takes a liking to the dress and decides to wear it as well. Reg returns home and is hypnotised by the department store's TV advertisement while Babs is at the store shopping. Luckmoore is alarmed to see Babs is wearing the dress and demands she leaves. Meanwhile, Reg dies from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the dress manipulating the boiler. Babs recounts a dream to Luckmoore involving her being the model for all the dresses in the catalogue but getting thinner and thinner as the dresses got larger and larger. She was then buried in the store by the workers. Babs goes to try on a dress while a fight soon breaks out in the store that quickly spirals into looting.
The dress catches fire and the flames spread quickly around the store. Babs burns to death, unable to escape her changing room, while Luckmoore flees down into the dumbwaiter with a dismembered mannequin. As she descends deeper into the store, she sees the dead store model, Sheila, Reg, and Babs stitching together the dress from threads made of their blood; there are also several unattended sewing stations. A fireman observes the destroyed store and discovers the dress undamaged amongst the rubble.
Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Sheila
Hayley Squires as Babs
Leo Bill as Reg Speaks
Gwendoline Christie as Gwen
Julian Barratt as Stash
Steve Oram as Clive
Barry Adamson as Zach
Jaygann Ayeh as Vince
Richard Bremmer as Mr. Lundy
Terry Bird as Bananas Brian
Fatma Mohamed as Miss Luckmoore
Sidse Babett Knudsen as JillProduction
In September 2017, it was announced that Marianne Jean-Baptiste had joined the cast of the film, with Peter Strickland directing from a screenplay he wrote. Andy Starke served as a producer on the film, and Ian Benson, Lizzie Francke, Rose Garnett, Stephen Kelliher, Patrick Howson, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross served as executive producers on the film under their Blue Bear Rook Films, Bankside Films, BBC Films and British Film Institute banners, respectively. In November 2017, Hayley Squires, Julian Barratt, Gwendoline Christie, Leo Bill, Steve Oram, Fatma Mohamed, Jaygann Ayeh, and Richard Bremmer joined the cast of the film.Strickland commented that when writing the script he drew inspiration from both the curious nature of second-hand shops and his memories of being taken to department stores as a child, in particular the now closed Jacksons head branch in Reading, Berkshire. He wanted to interrogate the reactions people have to clothing. The dress itself was therefore very important. It also needed to fit a range of body types, so costume designer Jo Thompson made a simple red silk wrap dress.
In March 2018, Curzon Artificial Eye acquired UK distribution rights to the film. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 13 September 2018. Shortly after, A24 acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film. It was released in the United Kingdom on 28 June 2019. It was released in the United States on 6 December 2019.
In Fabric received universal acclaim from film critics. It holds a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 159 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads "In Fabric's gauzy giallo allure weaves a surreal spell, blending stylish horror and dark comedy to offer audiences a captivating treat." On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 81 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".Upon its UK release, The Independent called the film "Suspiria set in a department store" and commented that it was Strickland at "his most free and playful". The Daily Telegraph called him "modern Britain’s answer to Luis Buñuel." Empire enjoyed the "dry, daft wit that reveals itself in surprising ways, from the bonkers premise onwards". Writing in The Guardian, Mark Kermode made it his film of the week and praised the "heady mix of intoxicating nostalgia, clothing-related alchemy and horror-inflected twisted comedy".Internationally, critics also lauded the film. The New York Times stated it was Strickland's "most impressive, engrossing, imaginatively unchained work yet". Rolling Stone summed up the film as "a singular trip into a singularly warped mind".In Fabric was included in best of 2019 film lists in The Playlist and Sight & Sound.
In Fabric at IMDb
In Fabric at Metacritic
In Fabric at Rotten Tomatoes
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