13th May2020

‘The Shed’ VOD Review (Signature Entertainment)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Frank Whaley, Timothy Bottoms, Siobhan Fallon, Jay Jay Warren, Cody Kostro, Sofia Happonen | Written and Directed by Frank Sabatella

As an orphan living with his abusive grandfather, life sucks for Stan (Jay Jay Warren). But he’s got it better than his best friend Donmer who regularly needs defending against the school bullies. When Stan discovers a murderous creature has taken refuge inside his tool shed, he tries to battle the demon alone until Donmer (Cody Kostro) comes up with a far more sinister plan.

Part 976-Evil, part Fright Night, The Shed is something of a combination of old-school 80s monster horror and more modern “woke” horror, dealing with not only the effects having a vampire in your shed can have on your mental health but also how going to school with bullying assholes can effect your mental health too! Though instead of dealing with those effects, the characters here decide to use the monster in the shed to their advantage and kill people rather than face their issues! Unfortunately the film starts to fall apart the longer is goes on, eventually collapsing under its own weight in the final third.

If only writer/director Frank Sabatella had just stuck to the theme of teenage angst meets monster movie that The Shed opened with we could have had an undiscovered gem on our hands… recapturing that teen-horror vibe found in the likes of Trick or Treat, 976-Evil, etc. Instead what we have here is a film with lofty ideas let down by poor execution and poor decision-making. It’s a great idea to focus on troubled teens struggling in school – after all that concept has been used to great effect in a LOT of other genre films – but when Sabatella turns the oppressed into the oppressors the film loses steam as the audience immediately no longer feels pathos for the characters and therefore loses interest.

It’s that one stylistic choice, that one decision, that unfortunately scuppers The Shed. Well that and the fact that when the key scene – as Cody Kostro’s character Donmer decides that using the monster in the shed is the key to his personal happiness – all the actors involved also decide that this is the time to deliver the most overwrought, over-egged performances of the film. Thus ruining any tension, suspense and empathy the scene SHOULD have generated!

On the plus side, at least visually The Shed looks great, in particular the eerie way the titular shed is shot at times – and the fact that the vampire is, for the most part, kept hidden; allowing the audience to picture what evil monster resides within the buildings four wooden walls is also a plus. However the titular shed looking great, and being key to the suspense of the film to be honest, can’t make up for the films shortcomings. But hey, when you waste Frank Whaley in little more than an extended cameo as the vampire what hope do you have for making a truly fantastic fear flick?

The Shed is out via Digital HD now from Signature Entertainment.

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