According to the official film synopsis, the dress, “in time, will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path. “I always had this fascination with objects,” director Peter Strickland told Entertainment Weekly. “I think what started it was going to secondhand shops.
The dress’s new owner, Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) develops open sores all over her body, gets attacked by the dress when she tries to wash it, and the garment survives a mauling by a dog; it’s miraculously found intact after being ripped to pieces.
Critics noted that Strickland’s work is a somewhat campy take on classic Italian horror films, done in a style that pays homage to the director Dario Argento and the famed cinematographer Mario Bava.