Text Box: DVDSleuth.com

Text Box:   




DVDSleuth.com is your source for daily DVD news and reviews.



The Shed (2019)

RLJ Entertainment

Blu-ray Disc Released: 1/7/2020

All Ratings out of




Extras: No Extras

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 1/15/2020

I have an odd confession to make – I actively avoid short films.  Now, if a short is truly short, like 6 minutes, I’ll watch it.  And, I obviously watch a lot of feature-length films.  But, if a movie is anywhere between 15-50 minutes, I will not give it a shot.  Why?  I don’t know.  One would think that I would be more inclined to invest my time in a brief movie as opposed to an hour and a half, but I simply can’t do it.  However, I occasionally run across a longer movie which should have been a short film.  These films have an idea, often a good idea, not necessarily an idea which can muster the prowess to fill 90-120 minutes.  The Shed is a low-budget horror movie which is cinematic equivalent of two kids in a trench coat.

As The Shed opens, a man (Frank Whaley) is attacked by a monster in the forest.  The man then drags himself into a shed.  Life is not much better for Stan (Jay Jay Warren).  An orphan, he is forced to live with is his demanding grandfather (Timothy Bottoms).  At school, Stan and his best friend, Dommer (Cody Kostro), are terrorized by a group of bullies who are led by Marble (Chris Petrovski).  Adding insult injury, Marble is involved with Roxy (Sofia Happonen), Stan’s boyhood crush.  Stan’s depressing life takes a turn for the weird when he discovers the monster now living in his shed.  This violent creature proves to devour anything which comes near the shed.  Can Stan use this entity to his advantage or must he find a way to destroy it?

In my recent review for Girl on the Third Floor, I wrote about how young filmmakers must hate old critics like myself, as I’ve seen a lot of classic films and I can spot “inspiration” from a mile away.  Once the horror plot of The Shed arrived, I was immediately reminded of “The Crate” sequence from 1982’s Creepshow, where Hal Holbrook leads unsuspecting victims to an old crate which houses a vicious monster.  We get the same concept here as Stan realizes (well, Dommer convinces him) that the shed and the thing inside can be an easy way to dispose of their problems.  This is an interesting concept, even if it’s far from original.  The issue with this part of the movie is that it’s very underwritten.  We never learn a lot about the monster in shed, save for the fact that it behaves by rules similar to those followed by vampires, and that it’s dangerous.  We definitely don’t get any more information about thing which created this creature.  Is it still out there in the woods?  I think that everyone should be more worried about that.

While I love horror movies (y’all know I love horror movies), I actually found Stan’s story to be more compelling than the thing in the shed.  A clever flashback illuminates us on how he came to live with his grandfather, and we can’t help but feel for the boy with the torment which he receives at the hands of the old man.  But, beyond that, this part of the movie is also underwritten.  Marble is a cookie-cutter bully and we don’t learn why he’s after Stan and Dommer save for the fact that that’s what bullies do.  We know that Roxy and Stan have a past, but that’s murky as well.  The movie is about 60% drama and 40% horror, but neither is fleshed out in the way that it should be.  This either could have been a heart-breaking story about a boy who the world has left behind, or a crazy monster movie, and it turns out to be neither.

There’s no doubt that many will come across a movie called The Shed and assume that it’s some sort of joke.  And, it easily could have turned into parody.  However, everything is played completely straight and the movie earnestly wants to be taken seriously.  However, there simply isn’t enough content here.  As noted above, The Shed probably would have made a great short film.  We would have forgiven the shortcomings with the story is the piece had narrowed its focus to Stan and the shed.  Writer/Director Frank Sabatella does give the movie a nice look and stays classy with the gore, but he can’t disguise the fact that this movie wants to be a mansion, but it’s simply a shed.

The Shed really does bring us a character named Dommer on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of RLJ Entertainment.  The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 30 Mbps.  The image is very sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from source materials.  The colors look good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail works well, as the image is never soft, and the depth works well, as the image never looks flat.  The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.0 Mbps.  The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects.  This track really comes to life during the finale when creepy sounds are coming from all around the house.  These sounds emanate from the front and rear channels, providing a real sense of space.  The monster attacks deliver palpable subwoofer effects. 

The Shed Blu-ray Disc contains no special features.

Review Copyright 2020 by Mike Long