The Seamstress (DVD)

This movie is bursting at the seams.

If I were to say to you that I just watched a movie called The Seamstress, what would you think it is about? A somber European drama about the struggles of the working class? A romantic comedy about a lonely sewing enthusiast who falls for the billionaire whose clothes she mends? If you’re a depraved psycho, you might think it’s a slasher film about a supernatural fiend who sews her victims’ eyes and mouths shut.

Guess what, Mr. Depraved Psycho, you’re right!

Allie (Kailin See, Brokeback Mountain) heads back to her hometown in search of a resolution to her father’s still-unsolved murder. She believes a creepy shut-in (Lance Henriksen, Near Dark) is the killer, but he insists there are other forces at work. Joined by a bunch of her horny, good-looking friends, Allie travels to a nearby island looking for more clues. Once there, her friends end up mutilated and/or killed, with their eyes and mouths sewn shut, in the manner of a local campfire legend, the Seamstress.

The other day I was thinking, “There are tons of low-budget zombie movies out there, and vampires are wildly popular these days, but you know what horror subgenre we haven’t seen in a while? The slasher movie.” Back in the day, there were all kinds of slashers running around. We all remember the big names like Jason and Freddy, but there were a ton of other, lesser-known slashers, like the guy with electro-powers from Shocker or the guy with the floppy ears from Popcorn. Today, remakes notwithstanding, the slasher is mostly unheard from. Then, by surprise, along comes The Seamstress, which is not a remake or an adaptation, but a new slasher movie with a brand new monster. All right.

With the majority of the plot taking place on a camping trip in the woods, you can pretty much guess how things shake out. Various characters hook up, one walks off alone, ends up facing the monster, gets killed or hurt in some gory-yet-cheesy way, the survivors get more and more scared, and so on. I’m of mixed feelings about this. On one hand, this is what we expect from a slasher flick. On the other hand, horror fans have seen this type of thing before. The whole movie is a mixed bag.

When The Seamstress seems awesome:
• The seamstress is a pretty cool movie monster, once we finally get a good look. This is especially surprising considering this is a freakin’ seamstress we’re talking about.
• Lance Henriksen plays a dark, gloomy guy with a gruff voice. It’s nothing new for him, but, hey, this is what he’s an expert at, so why not?
• This is one good-looking movie, making the most of the foggy, cold-looking woods. How about a round of applause for director of photography Corey Robson?

When The Seamstress’s seams are showing:
• You know what I’m sick of? Dream fake-outs. This when something scary happens, and then the hero of the story wakes up with a jolt because it was all a dream. There’s one in this movie and it’s totally unnecessary.
• I have nothing against the cast, they’re plenty good-looking and they do a fine job running around screaming, but there weren’t any real standouts, acting-wise.

For this review, DVD Verdict received an advance screener copy, the quality of which might not be the same as the ones on store shelves. That said, the visual transfer is nice, with a lot of vivid colors and deep blacks. The sound appears to come mostly from the front speakers, with not a lot of atmosphere coming from the rear speakers. The screener contains no bonus features.

I know I’ve been pretty harsh on this movie, but, yeah, it didn’t thrill in the way I’d hoped. But I do like the idea of the movie, and I hope this can mean the zombies and vampires can take a rest for a while, and we can get more new slasher movies. Then, after the slashers outstay their welcome, maybe some other horror subgenre can make a comeback, like, oh I don’t know, movies that take place in cobweb-covered castles maybe.

The Verdict

This movie is sew guilty. (Aren’t I clever?)

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