The Seamstress commits a cardinal sin off the bat: an entirely useless definition of the commonplace English word, “revenge,” when the film could’ve easily launched with a pithy quote. Or a dirty limerick. Or a factoid. Or lyrics by Tupac. Anything.
An unnecessarily talky exposition fest, aided with bad newspaper visuals — the made up Baltimore Daily doesn’t know how to use proper grammar, even above the fold — we learn that there’s a mystery surrounding the disappearance of one of its crime reporters, and that the man’s daughter, Allie, is going to get to the bottom of it.
She’s a student in Baltimore, Maryland and drives “57 hours” to somewhere in British Columbia where she was raised, partly to visit friends and ask about her dad’s final days, and partly as it’s cheap to shoot low-budget productions there. Har Har.
Two old cackers supply her with details that her dad was last spotted on some coastal island. (Why this investigation/disappearance isn’t being handled by, you know, the police is anyone’s guess.) The mystery unfolds via tips from a creepy mechanic, as well as a backwoods loner sheriff, Logan (nice to see Lance Henriksen in anything, even if he’s exactly as you’d expect here. We encourage readers to check out our PUMPKINHEAD PODCAST).
Allie then gets her friends, one of whom conveniently owns a boat, to go camping on the remote island, which as we know from having watched hundreds of horror films is never a good idea without the National Guard in tow. Or, to be geographically correct, the RCMP.
We then learn of a scary legend in the remote BC woods: a seamstress who haunts the area. We also learn that these camper kids are randy and say things like, “How many kinds of gross is that?” (We don’t know, uh, 32?)
Allie wakes up from a terrible nightmare, only to find her father’s glasses on the ground. Will this clue help her track him down before an evil force consumes the group?
As the spectre exacts revenge on the unsuspecting campers, we get the nasty frights: the she-demon sews their lips shut. This is admittedly gory and frightening, and the movie looks great for the budget, but it’s undermined by lots of excess blather. And that’s saying something, in a film with a run-time south of 75 minutes.
The story’s fairly interesting and it’s fine to aim above your station, as this is horror…but at least have a suitable arsenal.
**1/2 (out of 5)