Home Movie Movie Review - Bad Hair (2020)

Movie Review – Bad Hair (2020)

Bad Hair, 2020.

Written and Directed by Justin Simien.
Starring Elle Lorraine, Vanessa Williams, Jay Pharoah, Lena Waithe, Blair Underwood, Laverne Cox, Yaani King Mondschein, Michelle Hurd, Judith Scott, Robin Thede, Ashley Blaine Featherson, Steve Zissis, MC Lyte, Zaria Kelley, Corinne Massiah, Kelly Rowland, James Van Der Beek, Usher Raymond, Chanté Adams, Moses Storm, Jon Gabrus, Nicole Byer, and Justin Simien.



In 1989 an formidable younger girl will get a weave to be able to succeed within the image-obsessed world of music tv. However, her flourishing profession could come at an incredible value when she realizes that her new hair could have a thoughts of its personal.


It’s a given {that a} movie known as Bad Hair a couple of demonic killer weave goes to delve into camp territory, though author/director Justin Simien’s deadly misstep right here is that he spends a lot time repeating the identical beat of social commentary, that by the point the expertise embraces its horror idea and actually begins relishing in 1980s slasher tropes, it’s somewhat too late, in flip, sucking among the enjoyable and engagement away from the vicious and violent finale.

The idea right here is nothing in need of unique and a bright-spot speaking level nobody can take away from the filmmaker. Mixing collectively folklore and the rising reputation for the weave with reference to Black tradition, Bad Hair spins a yarn about an formidable Black girl working within the realm of musical tv, scratching and clawing her approach up the ranks for all kinds of causes. Naturally, the first motive is because of being behind on payments, however Anna (Elle Lorraine giving a standout efficiency promoting each the concern from witnessing her murderous hair with a thoughts of its personal whereas additionally injecting some ardour into the themes of look assimilation and cultural appropriation) is instantly informed that she can have a better probability of veejaying her personal present on the community if she takes on a extra presentable and trendy look.


This can also be the very best stretch of Bad Hair with out accounting for the loony climactic act, as there’s a white government (James Van Der Beek) placing a brand new girl accountable for curating the community, a light-skinned Black girl named Zora (Vanessa Williams) in an try and get forward of Black music rising in reputation however with the disingenuous mindset of interesting to everybody, particularly white folks, as an alternative of one thing culturally important. With that mentioned, the 1989 setting is nice framework for this narrative and it’s straightforward to really feel enveloped into that period contemplating the spiffy trend, hip-hop music movies (Justin Simien wrote some unique songs from the film), and naturally, the extra particular aspect of Black life in relation to watching Anna undergo the method of getting a weave (one thing that’s presumably extra painful than normal given a childhood accident that comes within the type of a chronic).

It’s right here the place it’s palpable that Justin Simien has one thing to say, nevertheless it’s additionally short-lived because the movie takes a detour into a variety of aspect plots starting from co-workers sleeping their approach up the ladder, Anna’s household far too conveniently having an curiosity in folklore, private relationships, and loads of different characters that orbit this working atmosphere. Of these supporting gamers, Lena Waithe makes probably the most of her presence, most notably as her comedic timing actually comes alive as soon as the horror of the story has taken over and given these characters and actors extra freedom to have a blast.


It’s doubly irritating as a result of the consequences of bringing this lethal hairstyle to life are well-realized with some gnarly kills. It’s a difficult feat to make dying by hair compelling and plausible, however Justin Simien will get that job finished. Again, the final 30 minutes or so of Bad Hair is relentlessly nutty, maybe a bit too distant from the social commentary side, however there’s no less than the feeling of a filmmaker efficiently carrying out one of many issues he got down to do.

Bad Hair sadly simply doesn’t work because the social assertion it’s going for proving to be an assortment of concepts that go nowhere of substance, even with a diminished operating time (the movie was nearer to 2 hours when it premiered at Sundance, now trimmed to 102 minutes). Nevertheless, it’s additionally straightforward to suggest one thing recent and daring to take an opportunity on throughout Halloween season; perhaps you might be somebody that wants the message right here clobbered into your head, and if that’s the case, it’s fortuitously bookended by campy thrills.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★

Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check right here for brand spanking new critiques, pal me on Facebook, observe my Twitter or Letterboxd, try my private non-Flickering Myth affiliated Patreon, or electronic mail me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com


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