The Shed hearkens back to the days of Fright Night when vampires were scary, but it also feels remarkably grounded as a coming of age odyssey. The casting is fantastic with two vividly portrayed leads in Warren and Kostro as the bitter best friend who loses his moral compass, and the movie has a great first two thirds establishing the relationships and the situation.
Plot: A hunter gets bitten by a vampire and runs into a shed to avoid sunlight. Stan, a 17- year old on probation, and his supervisor grandpa live next to it. Stan’s bullied high school buddy can use a monster.
Review: A vicious, primal vampire takes shelter in a spacious backyard shed one morning, biding time. A troubled orphan teenager named Stan (Jay Jay Warren), who lives with his abusive grandfather on the property where the shed lies, is going through a very difficult time as he deals with not just a terrible guardian but a group of bullies who terrorize him and his best friend Dommer (Cody Kostro) on a daily basis. Making matters worse is that the cute girl he has a crush on – Roxy (Sofia Happonen) – was recently his bully’s girlfriend. When Stan’s dog is eaten by the vampire creature in the shed, he investigates with his grandfather, who is next on the creature’s menu. Left alone, but with the knowledge of the vampire’s existence, Stan boards up the shed with as many planks and nails as he can find, but it’s only a matter of time before his grandfather’s disappearance will be noticed by the town sheriff who feels obligated to check on Stan once in awhile. When Stan can no longer contain the creature in the shed, he and his friend Dommer – and by accident Roxy too – must hunker down in the house while the creature breaks out and wreaks havoc.
Set in an indeterminate time when no one has cell phones, The Shed hearkens back to the days of Fright Night when vampires were scary, but it also feels remarkably grounded as a coming of age odyssey. The casting is fantastic with two vividly portrayed leads in Warren and Kostro as the bitter best friend who loses his moral compass, and the movie has a great first two thirds establishing the relationships and the situation. When the vampire gets loose, the movie fumbles a bit with story threads spinning out of control, which is too bad because the film was so promising up to the climax. Stan’s dreary, hopeless life is nicely drawn, and I enjoyed his startling dreams and nightmares throughout the movie. Writer / director Frank Sabatella, who also did a solid picture called Blood Night, understands and loves horror from the ’80s, and The Shed reflects that passion. While it’s not a slamdunk, The Shed has a lot going for it.
The Shed will be released on DVD and Blu-ray from RLJE on January 7th, 2020. There are no special features on the disc.