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Exte: Hair Extensions (2007)

  Tags: Asian Horror, Chiaki Kuriyama, Eri Machimoto, exte hair extensions, hair, japan, japanese, Megumi Sato, Miku Sato, Ren Osugi, Sion Sono, Tsugumi

Your rating: None Average: 6.3 (4 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

hairextensions.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Sion Sono
Runtime: 
108 minutes
Cast: 
Chiaki Kuriyama, Ren Osugi, Megumi Sato, Tsugumi, Eri Machimoto, Miku Sato


We all know that the pale-ghost-with-long-hair theme has been played out, and apparently so do some people in Japan; more specifically writer/director Sion Sono, whom some may remember as the guy that delivered the crazy blood-soaked Suicide Circle in 2002. Over the years the man has given us more strange films (most of which I haven't seen), and one underlining fact still remains -- the man has talent within the genre. Sono knew the hair-craze has been done-to-death, so he decided to make a semi-spoof film, with hair now as the enemy, and will stop at nothing to extinguish its foes.

Of course, this isn't the first film to have hair as the film's antagonist. In 2005 South Korea was introduced to The Wig, a film that revolved around a woman with leukemia, who is given a wig as a gift, which turns out to be possessed by an evil spirit. As ridiculous as that sounds, I enjoyed the film, and actually thought it managed to bring forth a couple decent creepy moments. Knowing that, I figured I would somewhat enjoy this genre effort as well. The fact that Chiaki Kuriyama (Battle Royale, Kill Bill) stars, only intrigued me further. Luckily, I did enjoy this movie.

The film opens with a few men, who discover a cargo bin filled with human hair and within that hair, the corpse of a female. Upon investigating the body, the local police determines that she was the victim of organ harvesting and what was left of her was thrown in the cargo bin to rot. This doesn't deter the morgue night-watchmen Yamazaki, whose abnormal fascination with hair leads him to steal the corpse and take it to his home. He soon realizes that the woman's body is growing hair not only from her head, but from all the places where she once had organs. What's even more peculiar is the fact that hair continuous to grow and doesn't seem to ever want to stop.

Yamazaki eventually decides to cut some of the hair and resell it as extensions to a nearby hair salon. This is where our lead Yuko (Chiaki Kuriyama) happens to work, and it doesn't take long before the women of the saloon start to act weird and die under mysterious circumstances. Yuko eventually has to fend for her life and the life of her niece, whom she was entrusted to take care of. Will the hair ever stop growing? or is its unnatural yearn for death going to continue its rampage throughout the rest of the town?

The film offered some decent special effects and lots of painful-looking scenes involving hair coming out of all the wrong places. The first half of the flick was a bit slow paced, only delivering one death and a lot of drama, which is really my only gripe about the movie. At times it seemed to steer a little too close to a family drama than a horror flick, as the older negligent sister of Yuko forces her young daughter on her while she spends time with her sugar daddy. You really grow to hate the older sister, whom has entirely too much screen time. We get it! She's a bad mother who abuses her daughter; must we endure 15-minutes of her yelling and pushing people around?

You really want her character to die already, and when that time finally comes, it happens entirely too fast, and seems as though we watched all those scenes of her being a nuisance only to get a few shots of nothing. What a waste! Had all her scenes been cut in half, the movie's pacing would have gone much smoother, in my opinion. Other than that, I liked the film. The deaths were interesting and original, and so was the story. Usually I'm not a fan of weird pointless scenes in a horror film, but the ones shown here were few and didn't take up too much of the running time.

The film's creative premise and original deaths keep the viewer glued to the screen. We're also delivered some decent effects and a couple gags here and there as part of Sion Sono's style. The only problem I had with the flick involved a certain character who seemed to drag the film's pacing down quite a bit. Other than that, it's worth a check.

Posted on August 16, 2009 - 6:20pm | FrighT MasteR

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