Blu-ray Review: The Stylist (2020)

May 31, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Hair stylin’ Claire (played to lunatic perfection by Najarra Townsend) is a bit… off. See, ol’ Claire has a penchant for removing the scalps of her clients and putting them on her own noggin to… live vicariously through them? Look, shes unglued, it doesn’t have to make sense…
The Stylist, the debut feature from writer/director Jill Gervargizian is nothing if not, well.. stylish. Every frame of this picture is so well realized and put together that the images become works of art (and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the impressive sets utilized here as well)… this is low-budget filmmaking that looks anything but, and was put together by a true artist. Thankfully this film has more going on besides lookin’ damn good (though Satan knows that’s usually enough for yours cruelly… )!
A big boon to this production is the acting chops of Townsend who makes Claire a deft blend of pathos, madness, and sexual ambiguity, that results in a character that is fascinating to watch no matter how psycho she goes… and boy oh boy, does she…
The narrative itself is also intriguing, and puts plenty fresh of spins on the slasher genre, but the way that narrative is put on screen leads to a negative with The Stylist; namely it’s uneven pace. Long story short, the second act drags it’s ass a bit too much, but it was by no means a deal-breaker for me cats n’ creeps.
While The Stylist is definitely worth a wicked watch on it’s own, the fine folks at Arrow Video (along with MVD Entertainment) have slapped a scalp-load of bonus materials on this fine Blu-ray release, such as: a great commentary courtesy of Gervargizian and Townsend, author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nichols taking a look at female killers in the horror biz, a collection of behind-the-scenes featurettes, location scouting footage, outtakes, the flick’s Kickstarter video utilized to fund the picture, a duo of short films (one of which inspired the feature film), trailers, and image galleries.
Also included is a separate CD containing the haunting score for the film provided by composer Nicholas Elert.
Make no bones about it, this flick is a slasher affair through and through, but it takes things in a few unique directions that make the whole thing it’s own animal. What I’m saying is, The Stylist isn’t the same ol’ same ol’ stalk n’ slay bag, and is well worth your time!
 

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