Hey guys… remember me? I know, I know. I’ve been m.i.a for quite a while now, but what better time to come back to all of you fine folks than… a random Thursday evening…? Anyway, time and day of the week aside, I am indeed back with another horror review and this time I am extremely excited. Why, you ask? Well, because I finally have, in my hot little hands, a copy of Jill “Sixx” Gevargizian’s “The Stylist.”
Claire (Najarra Townsend, Contracted) is a lonely hairstylist; When her final client of the day arrives, requesting to look “perfect,” Claire decides it is an opportune time to carry out a plan on her own quest for perfection.
I’ve been excited about films in the past, but after watching Jill Gevargizian’s short, “Call Girl,” a while back, I just knew that I had to have more Sixx in my life! Luckily, it wasn’t long after that viewing that I heard about another of her projects, entitled “The Stylist.” So, I waited. And while the film made its rounds on the festival circuit, winning award after award, I waited some more. I knew if I was patient enough, my time would come — my time to finally watch the new SixxTape project for myself!
Now, before I go any further, I must admit, even after all of my anticipation, I was still very much in the dark about this one. Quite frankly, tonight, when I finally pressed play, I thought I was going to get a feature-length film. To my saddened surprise, “The Stylist” is only another short film. Even still, I did enjoy it greatly and the shorter length, approximately 15 minutes from start to finish, only means that I can watch it again and again without taking the better part of a day to do so.
Quite naturally for a project of this nature, the cast is small. Najarra Townsend is brilliant in her role as Claire. In a film that is only 15 minutes long, it may be difficult to get into character and really tell a story to the audience. Not for Townsend. No, in the short amount of time she is on screen, she is able to naturally go from friendly, talented hair stylist to nervous, antsy murderer to shedding tears. I instantly became a fan of Townsend upon my first viewing of Contracted, years ago, and her performance in “The Stylist” only proves that I was right for becoming a fan of her work so quickly. She is extremely talented and I hope to see her pop up in many more films in the future!
Jill Sixx is a Jill of all trades… See what I did there? She wrote, produced, and directed this film (she also made an impossible-to-notice cameo, driving by in her car during the opening scene, which I learned about only after listening to her commentary track) and did so all with a very limited budget. This didn’t seem to hinder her abilities one bit, however. Even with the presentation of the film in its final pressed Blu-ray version, I am in awe. Everything from the packaging to the inclusion of bonus features blows every other indie horror flick I own in my ever-growing collection out of the water.
It is clear to see that Jill Sixx is a brilliant filmmaker who really owns her craft and knows how to convey a message to her audience. What that message is is up to you to decide, but rest assured that it will be delivered with effective lighting and cinematography, impressive practical effects, and an extremely talented cast, large or small. If you are a supporter of independent filmmakers and love the horror genre as much as I do, you’re going to want to support Jill Gevargizian by purchasing a copy of this short. Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed. It is packed with bonus features, including four commentary tracks, behind-the-scenes photos, and her other aforementioned short, “Call Girl.”
I look forward to whatever Sixx’s next project is, feature-length or not, and I give “The Stylist” a final rating of 5 pairs of scissors to the temple out of 5!