On Tuesday, a new trailer dropped for another horror film from A24 (the studio behind The Witch and Hereditary). It’s called In Fabric, and it has a genius conceit: The movie tells the story of a woman who, after a painful separation from her husband, decides to indulge in some retail therapy. A mysterious saleswoman purrs that a vintage, blood-red wrap dress will change her life. And it does! Because it’s cursed.
The dress’s new owner, Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) develops open sores all over her body, gets attacked by the dress when she tries to wash it, and the garment survives a mauling by a dog; it’s miraculously found intact after being ripped to pieces. According to the official film synopsis, the dress, “in time, will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path.”
“I always had this fascination with objects,” director Peter Strickland told Entertainment Weekly. “I think what started it was going to secondhand shops. You find clothes with stains on them, you find clothes that stink of body odor, you find clothes from dead people. Already, there’s a haunting. You buy a shirt, and probably someone cried having to give that shirt away because it belonged to someone they loved who died.”
In Fabric, which also features Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, debuted to rapturous reviews at the Toronto Film Festival in September. Critics noted that Strickland’s work is a somewhat campy take on classic Italian horror films, done in a style that pays homage to the director Dario Argento and the famed cinematographer Mario Bava. A24 and horror tend to pair well (it also will release the highly-anticipated Midsommar this year), and fashion horror is its own special kind of treat. Films like both Argento’s and Luca Guadagnino’s takes on Suspiria, Rosemary’s Baby, and anything by Hitchcock are among the most stylish of all time.
In Fabric opens later this year. We’ll try to be wary of shopping too much until then.