The Stylist is written and directed by Jill Gevargizian based on her short film of the same name. It is her feature directorial debut and disappointingly it shows. Although clever and stylish in places, the pacing issues make this film difficult to watch.
It is available to stream now on Arrow Video.
“That’s why I do hair. You get to go in and out of people’s lives. You hear stories, you give life advice. It’s almost like having a family.”
Claire (Najarra Townsend – Contracted, Wolf Mother) is a pretty young hairdresser living and working in Kansas city. She often works the late shift and tonight she is taking care of Sarah (Jennifer Seward – Black Zone). She offers her a glass of wine and she settles down for a nice hair cut.
This is where we find out Claire’s deep dark secret. The wine has been drugged and Sarah soon ends up knocked out and minus her scalp, which Claire takes home with her and wears while she pretends to be her.
She has quite a few such trophies, clearly this is a regular pastime for her. She seems normal enough by day, she grabs a latte each morning from Dawn (Sarah McGuire – The Matchbreaker), she goes to work, but her life is unraveling.
Things come to a head when long time client Olivia (Brea Grant – Lucky, Bad Apples) asks her to do her hair for her wedding. This is something Claire avoids as it’s too stressful, however Olivia begs and she reluctantly agrees. Little do they both realize that this will lead to a spiral of obsession with horrifying consequences.
The Stylist is an interesting film, with some good ideas and does offer an intriguing look at the effect that loneliness can have on the human psyche. A lot of elements to this film feel a bit dated, there are split screen scenes which don’t really work and the soundtrack is decidedly odd. For a large proportion of the film there is no music at all to lend context or atmosphere to a scene and when it does arrive, it is just intrusive noise.
The acting is very good, believable performances which pretty much save the story. Unfortunately, even without any music the dialogue is difficult to make out in places. When the gore does come, it’s plentiful and satisfying, it’s shame there isn’t more of it.
It all feels very slow moving and there are plenty of glaring plot holes, what does she do with the bodies, why are there no forensic scientists in Kansas City, why don’t the scalps go soggy and stink the place out?
It you’re happy to not overthink it then this is a decent watch for horror fans and serial killer enthusiasts.
“I guess we all want what we don’t have.”
See THE STYLIST first, on March 1st 2021, exclusively on ARROW, the passion-driven film platform giving film fans the opportunity to watch a curated selection of movies that the Arrow Video brand is famous for. It’s the home for weird and wild cult classics, newly-restored gems, and genre favourites.
Head over to ARROW and start your 30-day free trial. Available in the UK from February 1st 2021 on the following Apps/devices: Roku (all Roku sticks, boxes, devices, etc), Apple TV; iOS devices, Android TV and mobile devices, Fire TV (all Amazon Fire TV Sticks, boxes, etc), and on all web browsers at www.ARROW-Player.com.