Justin Simien, the creator of the indie movie Dear White People and the acclaimed Netflix series of the same name, has moved into the horror realm for his second feature film. Bad Hair is a horror satire set in the 1980s, focusing on the relationship between power and perceived beauty as it applies to an aspiring television executive – oh, and one of the characters has a weave with a mind of its own and a taste for human blood.
The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and arrives on Hulu this October. Check out its new trailer below.
Bad Hair Trailer
Simien, who saw his Netflix series experience a 329% growth in viewership in the wake of George Floyd’s murder earlier this year, walks the line between camp and terror in this movie. One of its scariest scenes is the scene featured in this trailer: when Anna (Elle Lorraine) decides to get a weave to help her rise up the ranks at work, Simien creates the most tactile, wince-inducing sequence of the film. He shoots the procedure almost entirely in close-ups, with tools flying and hair tugged and blood and tears flowing in equal measure, all while Lorraine, making her film debut, reacts to the searing pain.
But the pain turns out to be worth it, as her new look gives her a leg up at the office. Until, of course, her weave starts killing people. “In Bad Hair, I wanted to use the language of psychological thrillers and classics in the horror genre to interrogate how systems of white supremacy are often disguised as opportunities for Black people,” Simien said in a statement. “I also wanted to showcase Black women in a genre that typically excludes them as well as celebrate the last black renaissance of the late ’80s and ’90s.”
I reviewed the film at Sundance, and while you can read my entire piece here, I wanted to leave you with this excerpt:
Bad Hair is overflowing with ideas, and even though it doesn’t devote the time to fully explore all of them, its ambition is unquestionably impressive. It’s the type of movie that actually deserves the inevitable half-hour video essays that will be made about its themes, and I can’t wait to read all of the longform pieces it will inspire. It challenges its audience without talking down, asking us to keep up as it eventually ramps up to its wild, “see-it-to-believe-it” climax. Part Brian De Palma flick, part Invasion of the Body Snatchers, part Dracula, and part Stepford Wives, Bad Hair filters its influences through Simien’s hyper-specific passions and unique sensibilities to become a singular horror comedy from a singular filmmaker.
Bad Hair will arrive on Hulu on October 23, 2020.
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