Written by: Adam Vaughn | August 26th, 2020
The Shed (Frank Sabatella, 2019) 1½ out of 4 stars.
The Shed tells the story of Stan, an orphaned high-schooler who one day finds that a vampire has claimed a stake on the backyard shed. What follows is bloodshed. Stan’s friends (and his enemies) get entangled in the horror, and come to face the evil that lies in, well … the shed!
From the start, this gave off a corny vibe, hitting some genre stereotypes within the first opening scene. The cliché of the vampire does not necessarily hold weight throughout the film, seeing as the film attempts to also balance the tropes of a high-school misfit, his love interest, the school bully and all the characters you would expect in such a movie (none portrayed in an interesting fashion). Even more unfortunate is the fact that, when the film does veer from the stereotypes of teen drama and horror combined, it does so in a ridiculous, illogical way. Most, if not all, of the character’s motivations seem extremely convenient and forced, and the film takes us through plot turns that alternate between predictable and nonsensical.
The biggest shame is the failure of the concept, itself, which is simple enough and has the potential to either focus on the mystery of the “creature in the shed” or to create characters that we learn to relate to and sympathize with. But we’ve seen these kinds of character arcs, this “kill them by the numbers” kind of slasher flick, and we’ve seen it done with a few more surprises and significantly more quality than what director Frank Sabatella (Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet) has to deliver in The Shed. More so, revealing the monster early in the film does not bode well, and cripples whatever mystery the film had for the audience.
For those who are looking for a film with blood, guts and an edgy teen spirit, The Shed delivers your familiar start-to-finish horror movie archetype, with plenty of killer sequences and entertaining (if almost never truly “scary”) moments. It even has some fun, hilariously timed action at the conclusion of the film, finally delivering some real value. Otherwise, The Shed misses the mark on the key things that need to be at least somewhat grounded in order to add anything new and original to the genre.