Fear not, horror fiends. Independent horror is alive and well, thanks in no small part to filmmaker Jill Gevargizian and her twisted film company, Sixx Tape.
The Stylist is the latest offering from Gevargizian. Recently, the film was premiered at the Etheria Film Night in California. Gevargizian’s short film about a stylist who is struggling with the perfect look absolutely cleaned up at the awards banquet that night, taking home both audience and jury awards for Best Short. Starring the beautiful and incredibly talented Najarra Townsend and based on a story written by Gevargizian with a screenplay by Eric Havens, The Stylist is a delicious mix between Maniac and May, with an original touch that only a creative mind like Gevargizian can bring to a film.
Claire (Townsend) is a stylist at a posh salon, waiting patiently for her last client of the night. Mandy (Jennifer Plas) arrives in a rush, in desperate need of a wash and blow out before heading off to a hoity-toity company party where she hopes to break through that darned glass ceiling and receive a promotion. A glass of wine and a shampooing later, and you know how it gets in a salon – you end up tied to the barber chair with just a little too much taken off the top. Claire really does some magic with a pair of shears!
The film ends with Claire struggling with the idea of what perfection is.
Another one of several things that could be considered perfect about this film is the phenomenal original score by Nicholas Elert. Music can make or break a film, especially in the horror genre, and Elert’s work certainly adds a whole new dimension to the story of Claire and her dark life.
Townsend absolutely nails the role of Claire. The emotional ending really highlights Townsend’s acting chops and does exactly what every film should do – make you sympathize with the main character. Early returns on the film have gotten Townsend a lot of award buzz, and it is definitely justified.
A little halfway through 2016, and it’s safe to say I’ve found my favorite horror short film of the year. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more amazing and disgustingly beautiful gore scene than the one we see here.
It’s going to take a really special film to knock this one out of the top spot because that’s exactly what this film is – a really special labor of love by a filmmaker who is going to be quickly rising up the ranks of the premiere horror directors out there today.