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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Review: The Shed

Director: Frank Sabatella
Screenplay: Frank Sabatella
Year: 2019

Vampires have been around horror cinema for decades; since Nosferatu in 1922, going through the different versions of Dracula and another endless amount of characters. These creatures, except for some different efforts for romanticize them, has always been shown as violent, dangerous and bloodthirsty, very appropriate for horror cinema, “The Shed” is the most recent one in being included in this list of vampire movies while paying homage to some of the classics such as Nosferatu and “Fright Night”.

In “The Shed”, after his parents’ death, Stan is forced to live with his abusive grandfather. After discovering that a dangerous creature has found refuge in his tool shed, Stan tried to fight the creature just to find out that it is too powerful. His best friend becomes aware of the existence of this creature and has much more sinister plans than just finishing it.

The first two scenes in “The Shed” greatly worried me. In the initial scene, we have a man being followed by a Nosferatu style vampire, which seems to be an ancient vampire and that knows what he is doing, but that makes a rookie mistake that ends up having a high cost. The next scene shows the picture of a perfect happy family in a badly acted scene that breaks the dark atmosphere established in the previous scene. Luckily, the next scene reestablishes the dark tone of the beginning and keeps it that way for the rest of the movie.

After these scenes, the movie movies to a usual vampire story in horror cinema. The man that is attacked in the opening scene finds refuge in a shed in the backyard of the house where Stan lives along with his grandfather. Stan realizes something is inside the shed and traps the vampire inside it, who’s lucky enough to have his daily serving of blood voluntarily given to him. 

Having the vampire trapped in the shed allows that most of the violence and gore becomes suggested and not presented on the scene. This doesn’t mean that the movie lacks graphic scenes, but the most violent ones are not able to be appreciated in their full grace. Even so, we see decapitations and dismemberments, and as expected, some bites and plenty of blood.

The plot of the movie from debuting director and screenwriter Frank Sabatella is a simple but effective one, in which he emphasizes on bullying and the problems Stan faces after his parents’ death. Although he uses adolescence and the transition to adulthood as a focal point to develop his story, the final stretch leaves them behind and are substituted by common vampire movie tropes. This ends up affecting the movie, as it feels like a notable change between the third act and the rest of the movie.

“The Shed” is a great debut for director and screenwriter Frank Sabatella, where he shows a polished and well-done work. However, the plot had the potential of being much more interesting than what it ends up being, it has some plot holes and continuity issues and some scenes are longer than necessary. Even when it doesn’t present anything novel to horror cinema or vampire movies, “The Shed” is a decent and entertaining vampire movie for fans of the horror genre that accomplishes all that it proposes.

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