By Mr. Will Wong
Writer-Director Duo Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes arrive at SXSW with Australian Horror-Comedy SISSY. The Film which taps into horrors for millennials in some ways echoes some of the tone we saw in Emma Seligman‘s SHIVA BABY, but delivers fully on the violence and gore as much as it does with biting humour.
The Film centers on Cecilia (Aisha Dee), who by chance reunites with her childhood BFF Emma (Barlow). Emma is about to get married and invites Cecilia to her bachelorette in the mountains with her crew. There is a bit of tension though as Cecilia‘s new BFF Alex (Emily De Margheriti) hasn’t quite forgiven Cecilia for a childhood trauma she caused. Years have passed and Cecilia is a popular mental health and wellness influencer and this bachelorette begins to awaken her painful past. While these memories are uncovered, more bodies get buried.
SISSY is as much a Psychological Horror it is as it is a Physical one. Cecilia finds herself being scrutinized for her career choice and lifestyle by Emma’s circle of friends, sending her spiraling. Despite presenting to the world composure and strength, she finds her world crumbling as one fatal catastrophe after the other occurs at this bachelorette. Uniquely, Senes and Barlow strike that fine balance taking awkward moments and finding the humour in them.
Dee is effective in the leading role, exuding calm and serenity as her influencer self, but as her world unravels, she becomes a crumbling mess. We wonder how she is going to make it out of this, and if she ever will grow and take accountability for herself. SISSY is tons of fun and shot beautifully, but most of all saying something about the things we place value in the Social Media age, and how catastrophic trauma in our younger years can be on our lives.
SISSY screens at SXSW ’22 as follows:
Mar 11, 202210:00pm—11:42pm
Mar 12, 9:00am CST – Mar 14, 9:00am CDT 9:00am—10:42am
Mar 13, 202211:45am—1:27pm
Mar 16, 20224:00pm—5:42pm