In sure trendy circles, trend has a romantic picture as one thing price bleeding and struggling for. Horror, because the mischievous youthful brother of all cinematic genres, has literalized that aesthetic: “Killer clothes” occupies its personal area as a horror subgenre, regardless that it crosses over with different subgenres, like slashers, ghost tales, monster motion pictures, and Italian surrealism. Elza Kephart’s film Slaxx, now streaming on Shudder, is simply the newest addition to the gathering. It’s slim-cut, tongue-in-cheek, and nasty when obligatory; as minutes tick away and the physique depend climbs, the sheer preposterousness of the plot, hinging on a actually killer pair of pants, turns into endearing. Viewers will probably even cheer for the pants in opposition to phony activist capitalism.
Slaxx is exclusive within the sense that horror hasn’t produced many movies the place clothes attains free will and sinister objective. It isn’t the solely horror film of its type, nevertheless it is certainly one of few. However wanting again to the Nineteen Eighties, it’s doable to place collectively a correct line of evil attire, from jackets to attire to shawls to footwear. The area of interest is small, and it’s by no means been particularly trendy in comparison with horror’s different manufacturers, however these movies add as much as one unforgettable wardrobe.
About that killer-pants film: It guidelines, onerous. Look, any film whose logline boils right down to “garments that really slay” is foolish on a molecular stage, and if you happen to can’t respect that type of film not regardless of the silliness, however due to the silliness, you haven’t any purpose to observe them. However the sheer abandon with which Elza Kephart directs Slaxx and marshals its core theme via the wanton butchering of nearly each member of its forged makes for nice horror.
Set over the course of an evening in a self-styled moral trend retailer, whose practices become not so moral and whose managers occur to be avaricious prigs, Slaxx instills the idea of “sentient denims on a rampage” with actual which means concerning the innate apathy of firms guided by their backside line. “Honest commerce” sounds nice for social-media advert campaigns, besides that nothing’s truthful when creating wealth is the top recreation and human casualties are the value paid to win. You recognize what else sounds nice? Watching vengeful trousers kick a gory gap via that smug, hole ethos.
Slaxx is streaming on Shudder.
Quentin Dupieux, the multifaceted Parisian eccentric, makes motion pictures that reject logic, so your mileage could range with something he does. However Deerskin’s fashion-forward slasher about male vainness sticks the touchdown: the extra leather-based apparel his protagonist, Georges (Jean Dujardin), acquires, the extra his sanity splinters. One second he’s soaking in his manly picture within the mirror. The subsequent, he’s speaking to his fringe jacket about changing into the one particular person on the earth to have a jacket, and bringing the dream to life by massacring everybody who doesn’t give up their coat to him. The movie refuses to elucidate both his mania or his homicide spree, however that’s a function as an alternative of a bug. It’s sufficient that Georges’ rugged obsession turns into carnage. Go together with it.
Deerskin is streaming on HBO Max.
“A provocation. For what else should one put on?” There are any variety of causes to observe Peter Strickland’s In Cloth, which frankly capabilities higher as an ode to the work of Dario Argento than the Suspiria remake launched the identical 12 months. However In Cloth star Fatma Mohamed may be one of the best purpose of the bunch. Each line of dialogue Strickland’s screenplay provides her, she treats like a meal, like grandiloquent, baffling poetry meant to influence her victims to buy clothes they’re in any other case hesitant about.
Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) falls prey to Mohamed’s coaxing on the movie’s begin: On the lookout for a pick-me-up after onerous days on the job as a financial institution teller, she walks out of division retailer Dentley and Soper’s with a possessed crimson costume. It strikes by itself, agitates canine when Sheila wears it, makes an attempt to suffocate Gwendoline Christie mid-orgasm, and leads Sheila right into a deadly automobile accident earlier than transferring on to its subsequent proprietor, Reg (Leo Invoice). In Cloth’s giallo roots and Strickland’s phantasmagoric filmmaking give gravity to a patently absurd concept. Each the costume and Mohamed are certainly one of a form.
In Cloth is streaming on Kanopy and out there to hire on Amazon and Google Play.
The Crimson Sneakers
No, not that The Crimson Sneakers, and even the different The Crimson Sneakers; that is South Korean filmmaker Kim Yong-gyun’s 2005 tackle the previous Hans Christian Andersen fairy story a couple of pair of footwear that power their wearer to bop. In this model, the footwear torment whoever wears them with terrifying hallucinations. In addition they hack off their present proprietor’s ft, and irrespective of how onerous individuals attempt to eliminate them, they all the time come again. The large query hanging over The Crimson Sneakers is “Or do they?” However actually, that may’t dampen the novelty of footwear gorily killing individuals, even when the movie is, for essentially the most half, uneven and in determined want of cohesion.
The Crimson Sneakers is out there to stream on Kanopy.
Technically, clown fits depend as clothes, proper? Birthday clowns play dress-up as a part of their vocation; gaudy striped pants and a polka-dot vest comprise an outfit. So Clown, a film a couple of devoted dad slowly turning right into a child-eating abomination courtesy of demonic metamorphosis, qualifies. Nobody would put on clown garments and name it trend, however they would put on a useless animal’s pores and skin, so it’s the grimmest of punchlines that the pores and skin of an Icelandic demon begins the unsuspecting principal character’s transformation from man to fiend. Eleven years after launch, Clown looks like an actual win for writer-director Jon Watts and his cowriter, Christopher Ford; the entire thing began as a pretend trailer for an Eli Roth film that Eli Roth had no information of or involvement with, then grew to become an precise function movie. Now, years later, Watts is directing Spider-Man motion pictures. Fairly the leap.
Clown is out there to hire on iTunes and Amazon.
Howdy Mary Lou: Promenade Evening II
A sequel in title solely to the 1980 slasher Promenade Evening, Howdy Mary Lou: Promenade Evening II isn’t completely about killer clothes; it’s a couple of killer promenade queen whose depraved spirit, in a single significantly memorable scene, kills a facet character with a cape. That mentioned, the invention of an previous promenade outfit is the movie’s inciting incident: A long time previous to Howdy Mary Lou’s occasions, Mary Lou Maloney (Lisa Schrage) is topped queen of her highschool promenade, then burned to a crisp in a stink-bomb prank gone unsuitable.
When children within the movie’s current day hit upon her robe, sash, and crown, her ghost wakes up and begins going round getting children useless, together with lynching Jess (Beth Gondek) utilizing the cape because the rope. It’s a tense, ingenious, surprisingly unhappy sequence, and probably the one certainly one of its variety in the entire horror canon. If superheroes shouldn’t don capes for their very own security, perhaps we should always cast off capes as promenade equipment simply in case their wearers’ wraiths consider utilizing them as homicide weapons.
Howdy Mary Lou: Promenade Evening II is out there to stream on Shudder and Peacock and to hire on iTunes and Google Play.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
A little bit of a cheat, maybe, since Bedknobs and Broomsticks isn’t a horror film, it’s a family-friendly fantasy film. (In case it isn’t clear by now: not one of the different motion pictures on this record are protected household viewing.) However this movie’s concept of “family-friendly fantasy” concludes with animated fits of armor and army uniforms ganging up on Nazis. Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ “Substitutiary Locomotion” musical quantity predates Harry Potter’s Piertotum Locomotor spell by 36 years on paper and 40 years on display, and whereas that spell is technically used to battle off fascists, watching wizarding fascists get chased off by statues isn’t wherever close to as satisfying as watching precise fascists get chased off by plate mail to the dulcet sound of Angela Lansbury’s singing voice.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is out there to stream on Disney Plus and to hire on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.