Bad Hair follows a woman who gets a weave in order to move up in her career in the image-obsessed world of music television. But the weave seems to have a sinister, bloodthirsty mind of its own.
Bad Hair Review
Bad Hair is unique in so many ways. I love its original take on possession using a weave to inhabit its victims, but on top of that, it also uses an interesting lore to tell the story of this form of possession. It then uses this theme to integrate its racism, sexism, and corporate greed symbolism in an effective way. It also utilizes the approach to give some decent body horror moments and a few solid effects scenes.
The satire is a bit too subtle for me throughout, perhaps because the subject matter is too serious for satire most of the time. The metaphors woven into the themes involving racism and sexism are, frankly, too pertinent that it makes the satirical elements seem unnecessary. The film feels at its best when it's taking itself seriously and feeding off of the metaphorical imagery it's creating, making the satirical moments more awkward than effective.
The film delivers decent performances that help with the humorous and morbid moments. The directing goes back and forth between traditional and Sam Raimi-esque, which adds to the satirical flavor. But despite its above-average quality, I still struggled to stay engaged throughout. It manages to drag for the first hour or so, trudging along in order to set up the plot, but not in a slow-burning fashion that builds tension. It feels as though it could have been condensed slightly.
The final half hour goes a bit bonkers, mostly in a good way. But the poor CG effects run rampant and they struggle to keep you engaged in the thrills. The CG is by far the most disheartening element of the feature, only providing a semblance of quality in brief glimpses of the wild hair latching onto a wound or face. When we get extended shots of the hair floating in all directions like an octopus, the budget really shows in a terrible way. The film looked ripe for some great practical effects work, but it is few and far between, if present at all. Instead, we get Mortal Kombat Sindel graphics that just serve to disconnect one from the film rather than thrill them.
The cartoonish effects could be chalked up to the film's satire, but it just never fully connects for me. The humor has its moments, but nothing that pervades the film in a way that makes it relevant. It feels incidental, and sometimes accidental, which is never a good thing when it comes to satire.
As far as Hulu originals go, this film had more going for it than others I've bothered to try. In fact, it might be the best one I can easily recall in my head outside of Wounds. But, the overall entertainment quality has it sitting just outside of recommendation. Which isn't to say some may not enjoy it, or even enjoy it more than I, as I wouldn't consider that out of the realm of possibility. This is definitely a film in which I can say the finished product didn't hit on all my marks for horror, but has enough going for it to not dismiss.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 8/10 Horror Quality: 5/10 Film Quality: 5/10