the shed | frank sabatella | jay jay warren | cody kostro | sofia happonen | vampire | vampires | drama | united states | frank whaley | timothy bottoms | siobhan fallon hogan | chris petrovski | francisco burgos | monster | monsters | creature | creatures
Film: The Shed
Director: Frank Sabatella
Writer: Frank Sabatella
Starring: Jay Jay Warren, Cody Kostro and Sofia Happonen
I decided to check this film out when I saw that it was playing at the Gateway Theater. I didn’t know anything about it, but it was another 2019 film I could check out. The synopsis is Stan (Jay Jay Warren) lives with his abusive grandfather and tries to protect his best friend from bullies. Things take an even darker turn for him when he discovers there is a murderous creature living in the tool shed behind their house.
This actually begins with Bane (Frank Whaley) as he’s hunting something in the woods. A creature, Damian Norfleet, attacks him and bites his neck. Sunlight comes through the trees though, killing whatever this is. The problem is that now Bane is hurt by the sunlight as well. He hides behind a tree and tries to make his way through the woods without getting burned. He comes to the edge and sees a tool shed. He grabs some canvas from a pile of wood, covers himself and makes a break for it.
We then see Stan as he woke up by his mother. She tells him that they’re having his favorite for breakfast, pancakes. He comes down where his father and mother are. It takes a turn though when we see her change to look like a cancer patient who is on death’s doorstep. His father then kills himself and Stan wakes up. His grandfather, Ellis (Timothy Bottoms) is pounding at the door and he’s not happy it is locked. Through this interaction, we learn that Stan was in a juvenile detention center and that his grandfather got him out. Stan leaves for school.
On his way, we see that he has issues with a bully, Marble (Chris Petrovski) along with his two buddies, Pitt (Francisco Burgos) and Ozzy (Uly Schlesinger). He then has another with the local sheriff when Stan isn’t paying attention and he nearly crashes into their truck. The sheriff is Dorney (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) and her deputy is Haiser (Mu-Shaka Benson). He then continues on to school.
It is there we see that he is in love with Roxy (Sofia Happonen). Her friends don’t care for him, but through a conversation later, Stan and Roxy used to be really close but they no longer are. Stan’s best friend is Dommer (Cody Kostro) who is bullied much worse by Marble. A fight breaks out between these five and it results in Stan and Dommer cutting class.
At home later that day, Ellis demands that Stan cut the grass. When he goes into the shed, he has an encounter with Bane. Stan sends the dog in and it is killed by this creature. When Stan tells his grandfather, in a rage he goes in as well and meets a similar fate. We know that Stan can’t tell the authorities as he will go back to juvey. When Dommer learns of this, he comes up with a revenge plan to solve their problems.
Now the recap I gave though is all of the exciting aspects to the film, but this really did drag for me unfortunately. We get such a good cold open though. I wasn’t expecting to see this vampire, which is what the creatures are in this film, that early. It kind of has a look like a Count Orloc or a Kurt Barlow if I’m going to be perfectly honest. I like that they make the eyes glow a yellowish and that they have a mouth of fangs. I even like that they kept with some of the vampire lore that you can only kill them with the stake to the heart, decapitation or sunlight. The problem is though that when Bane goes into the tool shed, it slows down.
I don’t mind the things we establish though. We get a dream sequence to show what I’m assuming was Stan’s previous life. I do question this though, as a conversation he has with Dommer, it makes it seem like him, Stan and Roxy all had it rough. I don’t know if that means when Stan’s parents passed away and he started to get into trouble or not as that isn’t really established. It really does just focus on Stan needing to stay out of trouble, him and Dommer dealing with Marble and his crew and Stan being in love with Roxy. To complicate, she is messing around with Marble, even though she takes bad about him.
Everything in the second paragraph about the story is what we really focus on and I think the problem there is that I just don’t think it is all that interesting. The characters aren’t likeable enough for me to worry about them. I think it would have benefited to know more about Stan’s back-story or to try to figure out more about these vampire’s origins. They do a cool edit in where we see an old vampire film that explains how to kill them, which I thought was a good touch. I just personally thought this movie was boring and they used way too many dream sequences which a couple did have some scares, but it doesn’t work for me overall.
That takes me to the acting, which I didn’t think was all that good to be honest. Warren was a bit whiney to me and it made it difficult for me to worry about him. I wanted him to end up with Roxy, as I’ve fallen for women in the past who have friend-zoned me. I think we needed to establish him a bit more to really care. Kostro was kind of in the same boat. I understand he’s been bullied and it really affects him, but he really goes zero to 100 real fast when it comes to taking out Marble. Happenon I thought was attractive and seeing in her a corset, panties and garter was nice. I hated her though when she explains why she’s seeing Marble. I would say that Petrovski is one of the better performances along with Whaley. The rest were just very mediocre at best if I’m honest.
Now I will say though, the best part of this movie was definitely the effects. I’ve already said my piece on the look of the vampires, but even the blood and wounds looked good to me. We get some cool visual effects during the climax when people are shot with a shotgun. I do now one of them was done with CGI, but it was quick and I thought it was fine.
With that said, this film really has some good aspects, I just think they focused on the wrong things if I’m going to be perfectly honest. I think there’s a good set up with this vampire biting Bane and then him hiding in the tool shed. It really takes too long to go from there. I don’t care enough about the characters to worry about what they’re dealing with and I was ultimately just bored. The effects are the saving grace though if I’m going to be honest here. The soundtrack didn’t really stand out, but it didn’t hurt the movie either. I would say this is a below average for sure. I really can’t recommend it outside of seeing how cool the creatures look and the effects in general.
My Rating: 4 out of 10