SHOCK reviews short psycho thriller THE STYLIST.
For a film to be successful, sometimes it needs to elicit reactions to as many emotions and senses as possible (without of course allowing us to smell or taste or touch it). A film that can delight (or repel) using sound, sight and be able to also elicit emotion from its audience is a film worth seeing.
A little while ago we reported that Jill Gevargizians THE STYLIST was to premiere at Etheria Film Night (a festival highlighting women in genre film) in Los Angeles. At the premiere, Jill and crew took home the Audience, and Judges Choice awards. And for good reason.
THE STYLIST stars Najarra Townsend (CONTRACTED 2013) as Claire, a hairstylist who has become disillusioned with her life, and fantasizes living it as a different person which is a pastime awarded to most, only most people have less access to sharp objects and nearby sinks.
Now to our senses. The original score, tastefully put together by Nicholas Elert, is a beautiful backdrop to horrific subject matter, haunting and eerie, it makes you feel a little less like youre watching a horror film, but the displacement is intended.
The cinematography, crafted by production designer Sarah Sharpe is filled with rich colors and carefully placed set pieces. The main visual effect used in the film is effective in its gut curdling. Used later as a prop, the scene has a surreal and emotionally confusing quality.
Sound is also a major player in this film, while for the most part relying on music and dialogue, a certain visceral scene uses a sickening auditory effect that I cant get out of my head
While some of the dialogue leave little something to be desired, Najarra Townsend and Jennifer Plas are wonderful. Plas playing the important, busy and successful Mandy who, at the last minute, needs her hair done for a swanky event she is hosting. Townsends performance is inspiring and thought provoking. Claire is innocent and charmingly awkward at first, but by the end she transitions into a sympathetic and emotional shell, quick to tears with a misplaced and misunderstood envy.
For a short independent film, THE STYLIST in its style and aesthetic rivals those films of which are seen in the headlines today and I hope to see more from Jill, and Sixx Tape Productions in the future.