THE STYLIST

Directed by Jill Gevargizian  |  USA  |  2020  |  1 hr 41 mins   

Lonely and introverted hair stylist Claire (Najarra Townsend, reprising her role from director Jill Gevargizian’s short of the same name) lives vicariously through her clients, giving them a trusted outlet to share heartfelt truths and sordid details of their personal lives. In some cases, however, hearing their life stories and secrets is not enough, tipping Claire over the edge into obsession and murder. When the right victim settles down into her chair, Claire goes beyond mere observation of her client’s life – she ends it, taking a permanent souvenir for good measure. As Claire’s strange and lonely existence threatens to spiral out of control, the truth behind her bizarre habits and obsessive methods is thrown into chaos when her regular client Olivia (Brea Grant) asks her to be the stylist for her wedding.

 

With her astonishing debut feature, Director Jill Gevargizian has created a devastating portrait of a young woman’s descent into madness. Her meticulous precision as a director is clear to see, demonstrating an expert balance between the horrific and a genuine sense of sadness and empathy. Special mention must, of course, go to Najarra Townsend, whose chilling performance as Claire is both intensely terrifying and desperately sad, joining the ranks of horror’s finest tragic anti-heroines alongside May Canady, Der Fan’s Simone and Annie Wilkes.

Screening with BAD HAIR