The Movie Waffler First Look Review - SHED | The Movie Waffler

First Look Review - SHED

shed film review
Partygoers battle skin-stealing monsters.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: David Axe

Starring: Mike Amason, Morgan Jones

shed film poster

A baby faced woman in the shadows thanks Bruna for a lovely 25 years; only her bloody hands are used for expression as she tosses some rags (or is it skin?) into a hole, covers them and then makes her way out of the woods. Shed has begun, the opening credits accompanied by the accomplished and atmospheric music of Matt Akers/Gauge Santiago/Mario McClean/Don Crescendo.

After a scene with a pensive looking priest clutching his crucifix, we come upon the shack in the woods in which Father Christmas Mike (yes, really) is singing a song about Halloween and loading up a shotgun; the Santa outfit is his costume.

It seems he is throwing a Halloween party, and after putting up a ‘Keep Out’ sign on his outdoor shack, he starts to welcome the festively dressed guests.

shed film review

There are a lot of characters and as they arrive en masse and aren’t that memorable, I didn’t catch everyone’s names nor got a sense of who they were before the action started. After Mike tells his guests what is essentially a story about skin-stealing monsters that want to appear human to move among us, it soon becomes clear that that was no ‘story’ and the film unfolds to be about exactly that – monsters that kill for skin to wear so they can continue their centuries-long existence.

Shortly after this we are treated to a strangely funny montage of a guy dressed as a surgeon being repeatedly slapped by different people - apparently he’s a failed Lothario!

Kaylee fights with the monster that stole Brad’s skin (after watching her shed the skin in a bloody primeval mess) only to be defeated and then, worn.

She/It heads back to the party to tell the partygoers that she’s a monster but so is Mike (Father Christmas), who then decides to shoot up his party at the threat of police involvement.

Survivors take arms against the monsters and a battle ensues.

shed film review

Written, directed, shot and edited by David Axe, this is a one man show that has everything from threesomes to existential monologues, from skin peeling reptilian monsters to montages of sexy Halloween costumed dancing.

The direction is artistic and promising but unfortunately a lot of the acting falls short, the special effects are sporadically believable and the storyline? Well let’s just say it leaves a bit to be desired; if this was meant to be along the same lines as a Planet Terror then I guess it’s succeeded, although obviously the acting is nowhere near the calibre of that film, but if we are ever meant to take this completely seriously, be afraid or even be fully invested, then this film doesn’t exactly succeed.

The biggest downfall is the sound quality - it's muffled and it’s very difficult to discern who is saying what and exactly what they’re saying, not to mention that sometimes it seems things are overdubbed and the lips and dialogue are out of sync.

shed film review

While this is not my kind of horror film - it's far too disjointed and just downright weird for me to truly get into - I greatly appreciate the skilled direction and the obvious commitment to create something completely bizarre and true to its own aesthetic.

I also appreciate the soundtrack and the look of the monsters; their low-fi ‘difference’ is nicely underplayed and therefore it's easier to see ’humanity’ in them, as I believe Axe intended. There is also a kernel of a deeper story here, one that could have been quite moving and beautiful as well as incorporating the visceral gore this film embraces. It would perhaps be a wise investment for Axe to make this again with a tighter focus, bigger budget, and some professional actors. Speaking of which, Mike Amason as Mike deserves special mention as the main player who makes a good impression. He is warm and likable and adds a needed weight to such an uneven movie.

Shot for $25,000 by amateurs during a hurricane in South Carolina, this is not a ‘good’ film, but I certainly didn’t hate it.

There was much more to enjoy than expected and in fact, I’ve been thinking on it since I saw it.

And, with all the films I watch, for this to be the film that is still swirling about in my head is quite an achievement.

2019 movie reviews