Justin Simien’s Sundance Horror Hit Satirizes Racist Beauty Norms



a close up of Elle Johnson


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Just in time for Halloween month, Hulu has released the first official trailer for its alluring horror satire “Bad Hair,” the second feature film from “Dear White People” creator Justin Simien. Simien’s debut feature was released in 2014, which led to the eponymous hit Netflix series, set to release its fourth and final season later this year. Though the popular show will be bowing out, clearly Simien isn’t slowing down anytime soon. After a successful premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Bad Hair” will be released on Hulu later this month. From the looks of this trailer, it’s sure to be a hit.

Per Hulu’s official synopsis: “In this horror satire set in 1989, Bad Hair follows an ambitious young woman (Elle Lorraine) who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, her flourishing career comes at a great cost when she realizes that her new hair may have a mind of its own.”

Critics praised Lorraine’s impressive breakout performance when the film first bowed at Sundance. The comedic actress will be familiar to “Insecure” fans for her turn as Trina, one of the more demanding tenants in the building Issa manages. The relative newcomer is supported by an exciting cast that includes “Saturday Night Live” star Jay Pharoah, Lena Waithe, and James Van Der Beek, as well as legends Vanessa Williams, Usher Raymond, Kelly Rowland, and Blair Underwood.

In his mixed review out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “‘Bad Hair’ opens with a James Baldwin quote, digs into the contradictions of the nascent music video industry, and bemoans the sexism of its late-’80s workplace — all before tackling the specter of slavery that frames the entire premise. At the same time, it’s a riotous genre pastiche filled with shrieking music cues, canted angles, and shadowy encounters galore. Simien crams the wild psychological thrills of “Body Double” into the framework for wry anti-capitalist humor, and that’s appealing enough in fits at starts.”

Hulu will release “Bad Hair” on October 23, just in the time to tempt audiences itching for entertaining Halloween scares. Check out the trailer for “Bad Hair” below.

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