Exte: Hair Extensions is a 2007 Japanese horror film written and directed by Sion Sono (The Suicide Club). The movie stars Chiaki Kuriyama, Ren Osugi, and Megumi Satō. The title is a Japanese slang shortening of the English term “extension” from “hair extension”.
In a shipping container, 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. The corpse is transported to the morgue, where the results of the autopsy determine that the girl’s internal organs have been harvested, the victim of a black market human organ racketeering ring.
The morgue night watchman, a closet hair fetishist named Yamazaki (Ren Osugi), is infatuated by her beautiful hair and steals the body away to his home. He finds that the girl’s body has begun to grow hair—from her head, vacant eye sockets, tongue, and various open wounds. He is delighted and encourages it to grow, harvesting it to make hair extensions to sell. However, the hair controls and kills its wearers, causing them to experience the dying memories of the corpse girl, including the last thing she sees on the bloody operating table: the smiling mouth of the man who killed her.
Meanwhile, Yuko (Chiaki Kuriyama) is a young apprentice hairstylist. One day, her irresponsible older sister, Kiyomi (Tsugumi), dumps her eight-year-old daughter, Mami (Miku Sato), on Yuko and Yuko’s roommate, Yuki (Megumi Satō). Mami shows signs of abuse. Yuko allows Mami to stay with her, telling her to stay home while she goes to work each day, concerned about the abuse she has suffered from Kiyomi.
Out on the street, Yamazaki spots Mami trying to find Yuko’s hair salon and finds her hair exceedingly beautiful. He introduces himself and helps her find Yuko’s workplace. When he sees Yuko, he is also enchanted by her hair, but quickly runs off. He returns the next day, explaining that he sells hair extensions. The workers at the salon are impressed by the hair’s quality and try them out. That night, Kondo, one of Yuko’s coworkers who tried on the extensions, is killed when the hair begins sprouting from her eyes, head, and mouth…
“This may be a crazy horror-comedy but it is told with virtuosity and with many elements of deep interest and power. As well as wince-inducing and hilarious, it is sometimes haunting, sad, enraging, touching, sweet, bitter, thoughtful and unexpectedly empathetic. For what is essentially a comedy built on a farcical plot, it is uniquely powerful and intense.” Strange Reviews
“CGI hair shouldn’t ever be scary. Wigs skittering around on the floor aren’t scary, they just look silly. But Exte takes the hair horror a step further: a hair extension infects the brain of a hairdresser while she’s with a client, turning her into someone you really don’t want aiming scissors at your head; another girl finds hair growing out of her eyeballs, out of her fingers, out of her tongue; the evil hair coils itself around another girl’s throat, strangling her…” Den of Geek