Euronews Culture’s Horror-a-thon: Day 5 - The Stylist

The Stylist
The Stylist Copyright Sixx Tape Productions - The Line Film Company
By David Mouriquand
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Time to curl up and dye...

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Euronews Culture continues to count down the days til Halloween by treating readers brave enough to a horror short film every day.

Our fifth short of the week is The Stylist, by Jill Gevargizian.

Curl up and dye

Written, directed and edited by Jill Gevargizian, this 2016 short follows Claire (Najarra Townsend), a hairstylist who is waiting for her last customer. This happens to be an uppity careerist who needs to look perfect for a potential promotion because “that glass ceiling is a real bitch”.

And that’s all you’re getting plot-wise.

Much like Carlota Martínez-Pereda's Piggy or Jennifer Kent's Monster which later became The Babadook, horror shorts can lead to a feature-length adaptation. The same thing happened to the The Stylist, which was stretched out to a 2020 feature-length film which premiered at the 2020 Fantastic Fest. 

But as solid as it was, the short still reigns supreme. 

It's central strength is the deft balancing act achieved so brilliantly and in so little time by both Gevargizian and Townsend: they toy with your sympathies and by the end of the 13 minutes, they’ll genuinely make you hesitate whether booking an appointment for your next cut is absolutely necessary or whether to side with the Buffalo Bill-echoing crimes of the central protagonist.

The gut-punch climax continues to make your sympathies seesaw: it reveals The Stylist to be both an unnerving look at loneliness and an astute commentary on the conformist pressures women are systematically subjected to.

Enjoy, be content with your scalps, watch the excellent Piggy and Monster as well, and make sure to check out our ongoing daily selection of articles undercoveringthe mythical creatures of Europe, our second countdown to Halloween series which includes all you need to know about Baba Yaga, The Golem and El Coco.

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