One of the greatest things about independent films is that the creators are free from studio heads and accountants who may sully their vision in favor of ticket sales or distribution. Creatives can pave their own ways, limited only by their imaginations and their low budgets. Unfortunately, it also means that there isn’t always someone there to point out that the movie being made is ridiculous and makes no sense.

SHED is a low-budget independent film written and directed by David Axe. It begins with an unseen female burying what looks like skin and bidding it farewell before walking through the woods for a really long time, finally arriving at a tiny shed.

Sometime later, a man dressed as Santa Claus makes preparations for a Halloween party, loads a shotgun, then goes outside to put a “Stay Out” sign on the shed. That night, a bunch of twenty-somethings arrives at the Halloween party where they proceed to drink and dance. Inevitably, a pair of them venture out to the shed and, ignoring the sign, look inside. In the only truly suspenseful or interesting part of the movie, whatever’s inside the shed kills the man and his insides get splattered all over the woman.

Meanwhile, Santa Claus is telling all the party-goers a story about ancient creatures who kill people and wear their skin so they can move among humans. The woman who just got spattered with gore comes inside and asks for help with the monster in the shed. They all go outside and see the man who just got splattered, because, you see, it’s the skin-stealing monster and it’s wearing his skin!

Santa Claus decides that now that everyone knows about the legend of the skin-stealing monster, he’s got to kill them all. Why he is so deadly protective of a secret that he’s been repeatedly telling for the past ten minutes is anybody’s guess, but hey, this thing made no sense from the beginning. He gets his shotgun and shoots most of the partygoers. From here on out, any semblance of plot falls completely apart as surviving partygoers, errant cops, and skin stealers play out some strange morality mumbo jumbo through tortuously long dialogues while the increasingly annoying synth soundtrack just keeps wohwohwohwohwohing away.

When watching a horror film, whether it’s a big-budget studio joint or a low-budget indie, the only thing that really matters, in the end, is whether or not it’s scary. Most mistakes can and will be forgiven if the thing is scary. (And if it’s not scary, it at least has to be funny.) There are so many classic horror films that are technical crapfests—bad movies that are, in spite of their flaws, beloved bits of cinema because in spite of everything, they got that part right. Unfortunately, SHED isn’t even scary. Despite buckets of blood, a tremendous body count, a killer Santa Claus, and a monster that removes people’s skins and wears them like party dresses, it wasn’t scary at all.


SHED trailer from David Axe on Vimeo.

Runtime:1hr. 22 Mins.
Directed By:
David Axe
Written By:
David Axe