In Fabric Is a Horror Comedy About an Evil Dress and Shopping squib
by Joule Zelman
Surreal sensualist director Peter Strickland (The Duke of Burgundy) sets out to satirize consumerism through a hilarious horror device: an evil, sentient (?) red dress.
When a middle-aged woman (a subtle and appealing Marianne Jean-Baptiste) buys the cursed garment at a luxurious shop at the mall, things quickly starting going wrong in her life—the washing machine rebels, a rash develops on her chest, domestic animals turn hostile.
With many hauntological flourishes, allusions to Italian giallo horror, and other mischief, Strickland transforms a British shopping center into a demonic temple staffed by robotic women who look like Victorians dressed for mourning and speak like neural-network-fed advertising copy mixed with overwrought poetry.
Deliciously retro, nastily funny, but siding with those wrung out by the cycle of labor and consumption, In Fabric deserves a spot next to Sorry to Bother You in the hall of great anti-capitalist comedies.