Sissy Review: The Influencer Horror Movie Is Insane To Watch

pissy, a blatant and devilishly entertaining new Australian horror film from screenwriting/directing team Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, puts two things once thought to be good for humanity, but now become, in their satirical crosshairs. widely regarded as evidence of our continual descent into ourselves. . -inflicted destruction: social media and the wellness industry.

Cecilia, aka Sissy (Aisha Dee), is an influencer and self-proclaimed “mental health advocate” who is desperate to keep the likes and commitments. The film’s sardonic commentary on the “welfare” and ravages of online existence is closely related to her vain personality and her ghastly behavior. Early on, we see Sissy filming one of her videos on the floor (air purifier on one side, yoga mat on the other) talking about how putting a rope around herself means “our own safe space,” before demonstrating the healing powers of hyperventilation.

sissy trailer

Sissy is insane to watch, although a strong stomach and an appreciation of gender etiquette is highly recommended. But for the same reason, she presents challenges to review. For a long time it has been unclear where things are going: not only in terms of plot, but in key questions such as who is the villain (or villains) and who are the victims.

The MacGuffin is a chance encounter between Sissy and her best friend Emma (Hannah Barlow), the latter much more eager to catch up than the former. This meeting has an unusual staging, with the directors cutting between each actor looking at the camera, breaking the fourth wall while having a conversation. This heightens the awkwardness of the encounter and has a deliberate displacement effect, where the form of the film does one thing (creates distance by pushing the viewer away) and the content does another (forcing Sissy into unwanted interaction).

Sissy reluctantly agrees to attend Emma’s bachelorette party, which takes place on a remote estate where the majority of the film takes place. A brief dream sequence of about 20 minutes, culminating in the sight of a younger ladybug covered in blood, marks the turning point where the film crosses over into more overtly horrific terrain, though its cards remain fairly close to the chest. Driving to a bachelorette party, Sissy hits a kangaroo, which can’t be a good sign of what’s to come for her. This scene reminded me of a moment from the classic Ozploitation long weekend, and by God it didn’t work out well for that film’s leads: a married couple paying a heavy price for disrespecting the environment when all of nature turns Against them.

The horror in Sissy is more personal, rooted in character and the horror of rekindling old relationships you’d rather keep in the past. Another participant in the bachelorette party is Alex (Emily De Margheriti), Sissy’s former friend from elementary school, with whom she had a very dramatic argument. Things get awkward around the dinner table, where Sissy is scolded for her rather bogus call, which the group doesn’t approve of, until bloody chaos ensues, for reasons I won’t reveal here.

Five women sitting around a table stare at the camera with expressions of disapproval or derision.
‘Things get awkward around the table’… Whore. Photo: Arcadia

Aisha Dee’s achingly good performance in the title role helps the satire explode and crackle, deftly obfuscating aspects of the film: We don’t know whether to feel sorry for her, root for her, or what to think of her, period. All roads eventually lead back to social media commentary and the wellness industry, two entities that are increasingly seen as the blight of modern existence, but seem to stick around.

Given the bone-crushing terror of the final act, which has wacky moments and scenes you have to watch through the cracks of your fingers, the audience is more likely to go out and hug the walls rather than talk about the film’s nuances. satire. But the satirical elements are there, beneath the fake blood and mutilated body parts. They add a perhaps unexpected level of depth to a film that is impressively unpredictable until the end: a very difficult and commendable achievement, in a genre as codified and conventional as horror.

Author: Amin Razvi

Experienced News Editor with a demonstrated history of working in the news media industry. Skilled in News Writing, Advertising, Headline Writing, Breaking News, and Editing.

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