Set the scene, a murder happens backstage at a hair competition. Even if you’ve never been to one of these competitions, you understand the premise. Professionals in their field are creating the most avant-garde hairstyles and the most impressive (or ridiculous) will win. But before it even happens, one of the artists is murdered – and now everyone is convinced everyone else is a murderer and the competition isn’t going to happen. Medusa Deluxe is just that, a murder mystery wrapped inside a hair competition – but unfortunately, the most interesting part of the movie is the hairstyles.
The concept had promise, but instead, you’re greeted with a predictable story, a murderer given away too early, and stereotypes about both members of the LGBTQ community and the Black community. Did the movie need to focus so heavily on an angry yelling Black woman to point the finger at her, or heavily imply that members of the LGBTQ community cannot stay faithful and will instantly give up their lifestyle to appease their family? While they may seem like small parts of the story, the movie uses them heavily to try to misdirect the audience but instead banks hard on the stereotypes. Even if the movie had a story that hooked you, these plot points are painful to get through.
Billed as a “devilishly funny whodunit” Medusa Deluxe just isn’t that. With very few moments that will have you laughing, the movie just goes from scene to scene and gives away the murderer way too early. While we understand that British humor is often different than what Americans find funny, there has to be a shred of comedy in it for any audience to find the movie funny. While Medusa Deluxe does have some interesting imagery with the hairstyles and the competition, it doesn’t focus enough on the actual story to keep you engaged in the movie at all.
Medusa Deluxe is in theaters everywhere now.
About Medusa Deluxe:
Talented, ambitious, and backstabbing hairstylists gather for a competition in England, only to find one of their own murdered before judging can begin. Winding through neon-lit halls and backstage dressing rooms, competitors unspool long-simmering resentments and secrets as they search for the killer among them, in this devilishly funny whodunit from debut filmmaker Thomas Hardiman.