A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's "family circle", ... See full summary »
An earth-quake causes a nuclear crisis in a fictive Japanese prefecture. In wake of the disaster, the members of the Ono family who reside just outside the border of the mandatory ... See full summary »
The erotic novelist Taeko is writing a morbid story of a family destroyed by incest, murder and abuse. Her assistant, Yuji, sets on a mission to uncover the reality of this story, but the reality might be too much to bear.
Shiro is twenty-seven years old and is tormented by his father's terminal cancer diagnosis. He copes by communicating his care and love to his father. We see the father and son relationship... See full summary »
Keiko Suzuki is a lonely waitress in Tokyo. Her father passes away of cancer and she becomes obsessed with the passage of time. And so, three weeks before her 22nd birthday, she decides to ... See full summary »
A grisly murder occurs in Maruyama-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo - a love hotel district - a woman was found dead in a derelict apartment. Kazuko (Miki Mizuno) is a police officer called to ... See full summary »
What if extensions carried the grudge of the individual to which the hair originally belonged and started attacking people wearing it at random? Customs agents discover a huge amount of human hair used as materials for 'hair extensions' along with the dead body of a young girl with a shaved head. With the corpse being soon transported by the police, the results of the autopsy determine that the woman's internal organs have been harvested. The possibility is pointed out that she was kidnapped in some foreign country and was a victim of black market human organ racketeering ring. A sinister, fearless smirk comes over Yamazaki (Ren Osugi), the morgue night watchman. Yuko (Chiaki Kuriyama) is a young wannabe hair stylist apprenticing at the Gilles de Rais hair salon. After working late each day, after returning home, she tirelessly practices her skills on head mannequins with wigs. One day, her sister, Kiyomi, forcibly entrusts her eight-year-old daughter, Mami, to Yuko. For some reason, ...Written by
an unlikely but winning mix of (actual) creepy Japanese horror and domestic drama
Hair Extensions works much better than expected. I mean, seriously, how much horror can one expect to come out of something as simple as hair? But the hair in this film is possessed, you see. It comes out through parts of the body once it attach's itself inside the host body: the person gets hair through fingernails, shooting up like weeds in a garden, through eyeballs, through a mouth, everywhere. And in this film, one of Sion Sono's better works for mainstream consumption, it's real success comes that it's not simply about a maniac guy who uses demon hair to kill people (he also sells hair extensions that have the roots that have Grudge-type problems, yes hair can remember). No, it's also a domestic drama involving a woman who works at a salon (the adorable Chiaki Kuriyama) whose sister is an abusive B-word to her daughter, who is traumatized for life at the age of four.
For a little while (maybe the first 45 minutes) it's a wonder how these two stories, one with these people being killed by hair and this wacky guy in his home made out of hair-locks (and of course it's all lit in darks and greens), and the other with the salon girls and the drama with the sister and the daughter, will intersect. Once it does, the movie gears into being totally absorbing, and Sono is very creative with how he stages his horror set pieces. There aren't *that* many kills, at least not as many as one might expect from the director of Suicide Club. It's more about staging a setting and place, how it's lit, how the person in the shot moves about. It's not about jump scares, and it's not about some of the simpler modes that sometimes happen in "grudge" movies. In this film, a seemingly dead body can still f*** with the living.
The acting is also quite good, which is important as a lot of the film's drama rests on the sister and daughter and how Chiaki's character has to try hard just to reach out to the little girl (even more difficult after a particularly traumatic scene she sees, which we wisely only see some of before the big reveal). It's gory, which is to be expected, but I was amazed by the suspense that Sono was able to draw out of scenes, even in the climax which veers into over-the-top territory with its antagonist. Oh, and the movie is surprisingly funny to boot, mostly involving a cat who suddenly appears in scenes posed next to a statue outside at night (or just, you know, around), or how the villain sidles his way into the salon with his precious hair extensions. Only one moment that should be painfully obvious to anyone but isn't seen by the protagonist makes on do a face palm. The rest of the film is fun, effective and leaves an impression as art merged with genre.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this