The Shed (Movie Review)

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

PLOT: A troubled teenager's life gets even worse when he finds that a vampire has taken up residence in the shed behind his house.

REVIEW: There has been some concern during the build-up to the release of writer/director Frank Sabatella's film THE SHED that the headlines and marketing materials mentioning this was a vampire story were giving away spoilers. I can now assure the concerned that this was not the case; Sabatella makes it very clear within the first three minutes that this movie has vampires in it. This isn't structured in a way where we follow the lead character Stan (Jay Jay Warren) from the first scene and discover along with him that there's some kind of mysterious creature living in the shed behind his house. Instead, we follow a vampire into that shed in the opening sequence.

The vampire is a farmer named Bane (Frank Whaley), and we're introduced to him right before he gets bitten. He's being pursued through a dark woods by a vampire that has Dracula's fashion sense, as it's wearing a cape, but doesn't have his charisma, because it's a hideous monster. The vampires in this movie won't be doing any seducing. Bane gets bitten right before sunrise and has to seek shelter in the titular shed so he doesn't get burnt up by the daylight. Once in there, he becomes a monster just like the thing that bit him. And then we meet Stan.

The Shed Frank Sabatella Cody Kostro Jay Jay Warren

There are plenty of creature moments throughout THE SHED, but what really makes the horror aspect of the film effective is how much focus Sabatella puts on the characters and how well the cast does bringing those characters to the screen. 17-year-old Stan has a miserable life. His parents have both passed away, he has gotten in trouble with the law, and now he's living with his grandfather Ellis (Timothy Bottoms), who's a total dick. Roxy (Sofia Happonen), the girl Stan likes, has taken to hanging out with the school bad boy Marble (Chris Petrovski), who – with his two lackeys – bullies Stan's friend Dommer (Cody Kostro) every day at school.

Warren proves capable of handling everything Sabatella throws at his beleaguered character over the course of the film. Oddly enough, the emotion he least convincingly conveys is happiness, during a cringey, cheesy dream Stan has about his late parents. Which becomes a nightmare so Warren can start showing us what he can really do. Happonen has a likeable screen presence, and we find out that Roxy is a better person than her choice of friends might imply. But I have a feeling that Dommer is going to turn out to be the favorite character of many viewers, as Kostro delivers a captivating performance as his sympathetic, tormented character.

Stan spends the first half of the film being horrified by the presence of the monster in the shed that kills anything and anyone who dares to open the door. He tries to figure out how to handle the situation, and feels he can't call the police because they already have it out for him and might blame him for the deaths. This is all building up to the point where Dommer finds out about the shed and sees this "pet monster" as a gift, a potential weapon. A way to get revenge. And he's responsible for shifting the horror into a whole different gear.

The Shed Frank Sabatella Jay Jay Warren Sofia Happonen

Some viewers might find the first half of THE SHED to be a little slow, but things get livelier and crazier in the second half. There was even a sequence where circumstances kind of reminded me of THE LOST BOYS – although, of course, this movie doesn't have the '80s MTV tone or style of THE LOST BOYS. Despite the fact that it seems to be set at some unspecified time in the past, as Stan listens to music on cassette and makes his calls on a rotary phone. The prevalence of flannel in the wardrobe suggests it could be set in the early '90s, but Sabatella keeps things vague.

I was very impressed by THE SHED, finding the film to be a wonderfully disturbing blend of monster movie with dark teenage drama. It's well made, well acted, and provides a satisfyingly creepy, fun, and bloody payoff.

RLJE Films is giving THE SHED a theatrical, VOD, and digital HD release on November 15th. The digital release can be purchased on Amazon Prime Video at THIS LINK.

A Blu-ray and DVD release will follow on January 7, 2020. Copies can be pre-ordered HERE.

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.