Released: 1st March 2021
Starring: Najarra Townsend, Brea Grant
Director: Jill Gevargizan
I hate going to the hairdressers. If you have severe social anxiety this one activity is literally your worst nightmare. For starters, they insist on talking to you. Then then they "need" to wash your hair that you washed the night before and now you're Manic Panic hair dye has just been flushed down the drain. No two hairdressers cuts your hair the same way either so when you go in asking for layers you might get what you asked for, and you might not, and if you're really having a good day you'll get some hair dresser who half way through announces she doesn't know how to cut curly hair and proceeds to straighten and cut it too short. Thankfully, I have never once had to worry about my hairdresser scalping me.
Claire [Najarra Townsend] is a seemingly friendly, demure hair stylist that is until she drugs you and steals your hair which happens in the opening scene. There's no real motive behind it. The client is in town on work and she was drugged before she had even started talking about how she's cheating on her husband.
Claire goes home to her basement with a beautiful antique vanity and chandeliers and other scalped hair pieces where she sits down, becomes visibly upset and tries the hair pieces on reciting things the clients had said to her. A lonely girl wanting to pretend to be someone else for five minutes, it's a shame she didn't know about wigs and cosplay. Same thing, no jail time included.
The next morning she receives a txt message from Olivia, one of her regular customers, to style her hair for her upcoming wedding. Claire doesn't do weddings and rightly so because she's insane, but she gives in and agrees to take on the job. Olivia comes to the salon for a trial run and invites Claire to her home that night for dinner and to see her in her wedding dress. Completely normal behaviour. From here Claire is invited to her hen's party and is asked if she likes to go jogging. Claire says yes which is a lie and I'm pretty sure the only cardio she does is dragging dead bodies around.
The crazy goes up a notch after Claire overhears Olivia's friends in the bathroom talking about how much of a freak she is, so she proves them wrong by following one of them home and breaking in to her house. Somehow this girl is so drunk she doesn't notice someone sitting in her bath tub. Also it's cool to see that two years into a pandemic a grown woman still doesn't know how to flush the toilet or wash her hands. Nasty.
This is a feature length version of the short film 'The Stylist' also starring Najarra Townsend. Some short horror films tend to lose their essence when turned into a full length movie (perfect examples are Lights Out and Selfie From Hell) but this one has definitely done a great job on expanding the story. The only differences between the two are Claire no longer has a scar on her neck and she doesn't seem as awkward. The Stylist is a slow burn, isn't heavy on the dialogue, has a moody score that never overpowers the scene and delivers a WTF ending. I did spend most of the film feeling like this was the female version of Frank Zito [Maniac] but the only thing that could have made this film better is a bit more background on what made Claire this way.