Justin Simien on the Korean and Japanese Influence of ‘Bad Hair’ (Video)

Sundance 2020: “The idea really came from a conversation about a sub-genre of horror in Korean and Japanese horror films about hair specifically,” Simien tells TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven

Director Justin Simien, who first broke out at Sundance with 2014’s “Dear White People,” dropped by TheWrap studio at Sundance to discuss his campy horror film “Bad Hair.”

“So ‘Bad Hair’ is a horror satire camp mashup situation about a killer weave and a girl who gets one in 1989 and the costs and the benefits that happen when such a thing transpires,” said Simien. “The idea really came from a conversation about a sub-genre of horror in Korean and Japanese horror films about hair specifically and I felt like there was an American story there to be told that hadn’t been told and specifically one that kind of interrogates the system that kind of forces black women in particular, but all of black culture, to sort of produce value that they themselves can actually capitalize on.”

“I wanted to do this genre because it just it’s a lot of fun. I love ‘Body Snatchers’ and ‘Body Double” and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘Wicker,’ I could go on and on. It’s such an inventive and fun journal where you can really play as a filmmaker and so I got to kind of pour a bunch of obsessions into this,” added Simien.

The film, written and directed by Simien, premiered in the Midnight section of the Sundance Film Festival last Thursday. The cast includes Elle Lorraine, Vanessa Williams, Jay Pharaoh, Lena Waithe, Blair Underwood and Laverne Cox.

“Bad Hair,” set in 1989, follows a young woman who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, the weave starts to take on a mind of its own.

Hulu is nearing a deal for worldwide distribution rights for Justin Simien’s “Bad Hair,” an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

Watch the interview above with Siemien and his cast.

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