‘Bad Hair’ | Sundance 2020 Review

‘Bad Hair’ is directed by Justin Simien and takes in 1989, as an ambitious young woman gets a weave in order to succeed in an image-based music television network. The network, now under new management, sees a bright future for the woman if she adheres to the culture. Her flourishing career may come at a great cost when she realizes her hair may have a mind of its own. This dark comedy horror film looks at African heritage, culture suppression, and workplace toxic culture with a fun slasher twist that I had a lot of fun watching!

First the acting by Elle Lorraine is fantastic. She carries the weight of the film and does it with grace. The moments where they are showing her weave being put in are some of the most disturbing and cringe inducing scenes I witnessed at the festival. The film gives you PTSD by randomly inserting the horror ‘snippets’ throughout the film and keeps the audience on their toes and not sure what to expect. The supporting performances are all very strong and they are all having fun in the movie.

The film is incredibly smart in its content, and maybe doesn’t realize it’s potential toward the end of the film. I loved when the film explored the mystery of the weave, where it came from, what it can do. But that is kinda stopped short and a random “slasher chase sequence” takes you out of the story and is a false ending. If they had shrunk that scene down and gave us the true ending sooner I think this would be the strongest horror film of the year.

Overall, ‘Bad Hair’ is a fun watch, with good storytelling and great horrific cinematography. There are strong performances and a unique ending, even if the lead up is more generic.

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