THE SHED (2019)
Directed by Frank Sabatella
Written by Frank Sabatella
Starring Jay Jay Warren, Cody Kostro, Sofia Happonen, Frank Whaley, Timothy Bottoms, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Chris Petrovski, Francisco Burgos, Uly Schlesinger, Mu-Shaka Benson, Drew Moore, Caroline Duncan, Sal Rendino, Sean King, Damian Norfleet
Available On Demand and on digital download!
Much light-hearted and gory fun can be had with THE SHED, a somewhat uneven and redundant film that manages to entertain due to the snappy script and talented cast.
After losing his parents, Stan (Jay Jay Warren) lives with his grandfather who abuses him daily. But Stan seems to be a magnet for this type of treatment as he is also the subject of torment for a trio of bullies at school. Dommer (Cody Kostro) is Stan’s only friend and might be the only person who gets bullied more at school. When a vampire (Frank Whaley) holes up in Stan’s shed, Stan traps it, but doesn’t know what to do with it. But Dommer knows. He wants to get some payback for all of the abuse the two have endured through the years.
THE SHED is filled with inspired performances. The aggressive but friendly back and forthings between Jay Jay Warren’s Stan and Cody Kostro’s Dommer were surprisingly realistic, with their biting banter reflective of how the two were brought up with all kinds of abuse. It seems their inability to interact with others without exuding some of that abuse back is something they can’t help but do. Sofia Happonen is also strong here as Roxy, Stan’s crush, though her decision to befriend Stan again after drifting apart seemed rushed. I also liked Chris Petrovski’s Marble, the lead bully who turns into a puddle once threatened. Smaller players like Timothy Bottoms as Stan’s grandfather and Soibhan Fallon Hogan as the sheriff stand out as unusual, but refreshing casting choices. And speaking of fun casting, Frank Whaley is gnarly as the vampire, though he is often covered in makeup, so it kind of feels like a waste of Whaley’s expressive face.
While the story of THE SHED is fine and dandy—everyone loves to see the bullied fight back, director/writer Frank Sabatella makes things redundant throughout with about four or five dream sequences too many. If this were a Freddy Krueger movie and the threat were more cerebral, I would understand so many trips into the dream realm. But the threat in THE SHED is in the real world Stan lives in. I feel the threats in that world could have been utilized a little more efficiently and less time and energy would have been spent building up false jump scares in multiple dream sequences.
That said, there is a fun buildup of tension from beginning to end. Seeing Stan and Dommer get the upper hand on those who wronged them is fun. It’s also well developed how that power can quickly go to one’s head. The film also wastes no time with exposition regarding what the rules are of vampires, sticking pretty close to the classic vamps, and not really wasting time on the how’s or why’s vamp exist. Being the movie savvy kids that they are, Stan and Dommer pretty much accept the fact that bloodsuckers exist and already know how to destroy them. I don’t mind this, but it is interesting to note.
THE SHED about the dangers of bullying and, oh yes, vampires. It is funny at times but doesn’t forget to tug at the heartstrings when necessary. It’s a light and boppy horror fable with some juicy moments of gore. Some time is wasted here and there for unnecessary jump scares, but all in all, THE SHED is going to please those looking for light fangy fare.