In Fabric is a Frustratingly Tarnished Chef-d’œuvre from A24

The editing—the chief focal point of this whole phenomenon—is indisputably the best of the year thus far, taking influence from artworks as classic as Chris Marker’s iconic La Jetée and as state-of-the-art as Jan Švankmajer’s 1992 short Food. The score is on brink with this year’s Midsommar, reminding us once again that the power of highbrow eerie music is unmatched. Peter Strickland’s directing has exerted a more employing approach, causing the staging to appear legion in its influences. The cinematography is some of the best I’ve ever laid eyes on when it comes to shooting on “digital.” The faultless, Giallo imagery will hopefully birth a new insurgence in the genre—which it deserves. And the comedy! The comedy ceased to fall flat at all and had me uproarious 24/7. Marianne Jean-Baptiste performance is something to be reckoned with, but Fatma Mohamed as Miss Luckmoore will be esteemed as an essential in cinema while concurrently keeping audiences jestingly uproarious. The scares are so raw and dismaying, truly exemplifying how horror should be handled. I additionally must commend Strickland for managing to make a red dress scarier than Michael Myers and Freddy Kruger combined—add him/her to the list of slasher icons (you here!). This is horror satire at its maximum, culminating peak. It’s dare I say, “a masterpiece.”

The first half of In Fabric…that is.

The second half of In Fabric involves Strickland switching the scenery up with a whole new set of stories and characters, leaving the previous ones to rot—a decision that only a dicey creator could ever choose to pursue. This new tale of horrors, woefully, elects to embody a familiar piece rather than embodying an elaborate one; this meaning that the presentation was nearly identical to the one before it (the first half), just with contradicting characters, with contradicting motives. We are led in on multiple new events involving The Dress, all formatted with similar structures, all ending up in similar crescendos. The repetition is distinctly not inane (there’s a message to it), but it doesn’t plea the fact that the execution of it was deplorably spiritless. It’s peculiar how you can get moved by such comparable characters with such enchanting fables and then suddenly not care when told about them again immediately afterword but through a nearly antagonistic quality—varying to its initial quality. The second half of In Fabric was one of the most disappointing encounters in film that I’ve seen all year.

However, the ending brought it all back for me. It’s gold, purely ludicrous, but an exemplar in what the film should’ve retained incessantly. Suddenly, the themes came full circle and the unparallel, sardonic trepidation from the first half of In Fabric returned from its grave. I was simultaneously laughing my ass off while dreading under the sheets of my eyelids in utter terror at this conclusion—a vibe that should’ve stayed consistent throughout the film’s irksome timeline.

I don’t know how this movie did it, but it did. In Fabric is somehow the best movie of 2019 and the biggest letdown of 2019. Peter Strickland you son of a bitch.

You know I gotta place In Fabric on the “fresh” mark though. I’ll be purchasing the Blu-Ray or UHD of it on day one just to re-endure that unrivaled beginning hour (and then fast-forward to those last, glorious ten minutes of excellence). 

Verdict: B-

A24 Ranked, 2019 Ranked

“In Fabric” will be released in theaters December 6, 2019.

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