- Starring: Jay Jay Warren, Cody Kostro, Sofia Happonen, Frank Whaley, Timothy Bottoms, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Chris Petrovski
- Directed by: Frank Sabatella
- Written by: Frank Sabatella
- Runtime: 98 minutes
- Rated: Not Rated (contains adult language, graphic violence, sexuality)
- Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
Look for The Shed In Theaters – November 15, 2019
On Digital and On Demand – November 15, 2019
Vampire films used to be a dime a dozen in the 80s and 90s. The market was saturated with them. But since the recent zombie proliferation of the last twenty years or so, we haven’t had that many great vampire films. In fact, I can only think of a handful of really good bloodsucker films from the new century including Stake Land, What We Do In The Shadows, Let The Right One In, 30 Days Of Night, and Underworld. We are in desperate need of decent vampire films in the 2000s.
There is hope for the subgenre as writer/director Frank Sabatella’s new vampire flick, THE SHED might just fit the bill. Keep reading to see if his new creature feature can be counted as a pearl of vampire cinema.
In the film, we’re introduced to Stan (Jay Jay Warren), a teenager with dreadful family life. His parents are gone and he lives with his abusive Grandfather (Timothy Bottoms). He has to keep his best friend Dommer (Cody Kostro) and himself from being pummeled by bullies on a daily basis and his High School crush Roxy (Sofia Happonen) is sleeping with the enemy, the school bully Marble (Chris Petrovski).
When Stan discovers he has a bloodthirsty creature (Frank Whaley) trapped in his tool shed, he has to find a way to destroy the monster, but his best friend has other plans that won’t end well for anyone.
Writer/director Sabatella has wrapped several themes into the storyline here. Upfront in the film is bullying and what it can do to kids both physically and mentally. Another important subtext has to do with abuse and neglect in the home. The subtexts here are not forced down our throats, they come across naturally as part of the storyline that’s written so well.
One of the main reasons The Shed turned out so well is the script is very well written. Sabatella wrote characters we care about and can relate to. These people are not cardboard cutouts in any way. I think almost everyone can relate to at least one character and that’s high praise for the film.
I got a great 1980’s film vibe from The Shed that reminded me a little of films like Fright Night and Near Dark. Sabatella clearly has an eye for horror set-pieces which is evident in the final reel of the film. I really only have one gripe and it’s a minor one. I only wish we got to see more of Frank Whaley as the vampire. The makeup design is very cool and he plays the creature like a true monster, not a handsome lover.
Not to forget the cast of the film, who all turned in incredible performances. Jay Jay Warren in the lead as Stan is such a good actor in this film. He makes his character so warm and relatable, you can’t help but care about him. Also, the best friend, Dommer, played by Cody Kostro is compelling and you can understand what leads his actions in the film. Finally, Sofia Happonen as Roxy, Stan’s love interest is a fresh face and was believable in her role. She seemed to be cast perfectly for the film.
In stating the obvious here, I very much enjoyed The Shed. It’s storytelling done right. Everything about the film is top-notch. Writer/director Frank Sabatella definitely made his mark on the genre and will be a filmmaker to watch in the future. I’ve been waiting for a great vampire film for several years and it’s finally here in The Shed.
4 out of 5 Pentagrams!
Watch the trailer here: