In Fabric review – rides a fine seam between humour and horror

A cursed red dress makes life hell for whoever wears it in this eerie blend of tragicomic realism and consumerist satire

In Cornell Woolrich’s 1937 novella I’m Dangerous Tonight, a dress fashioned from the devil’s cloak drives its owners to commit terrible deeds. Filmed by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre director Tobe Hooper in 1990, Woolrich’s story established a familiar pattern that can be found lurking in the shadowy seams of many a supernatural thriller.

The latest film to be cut from such fiendishly seductive cloth is In Fabric, a deliciously tactile romp from Peter Strickland, British writer-director of Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy. A heady mix of intoxicating nostalgia, clothing-related alchemy and horror-inflected twisted comedy, it’s an impressively uncategorisable affair, seemingly inspired by Strickland’s traumatic/ecstatic memories of being dragged to department stores as a child. Part consumerist satire (think a livelier
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