Fantastic Fest 2020: The Stylist .. #FantasticFest #TheStylist #JillGevargizian #NajarraTownsend #BreaGrant #MovieReview #Horror

Movie still of The Stylist, starring Najarra Townsend

Fantastic Fest, hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse, has gone virtual for 2020, and the third night’s main film was The Stylist, starring Najarra Townsend and Brea Grant.

The Stylist is director Jill Gevargizian’s first feature film, and is based on her acclaimed 2016 short of the same name.

In it, Claire (Townsend) seems to live a normal life as a hair stylist by day, but she begins coveting her clients’ lifestyles to the point where she wants to be them so badly, she’ll literally kill for them.

Enter Olivia (Grant), who asks Claire to style her hair for her wedding. Olivia seems to have it all: a devoted fiancé, a great group of friends, and a successful career.

Olivia brings Claire into her circle of friends, and as you can imagine, Claire becomes fixated and things may not go so well for Olivia or her friends.

I never saw the short film, so I don’t have that to compare this full-length to, but after starting with a bang, The Stylist takes a slow-burn stalker-ish approach to the story.

The ending, which I had figured out a few minutes before, was nonetheless shocking and effective in wrapping up the story of Claire and Olivia. I also feel Townsend and Grant turned in great performances.

On the downside, I wasn’t a fan of some of the lighting choices, or the vibrator scene (though it was definitely memorable). But these were minor issues for me.

Overall, I found The Stylist a slow-burn serial killer horror film with a unique ending. I’m giving The Stylist (feature length) a 3 out of 5.


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