Australian horror comedy sissy is a delight, tackling social media culture and bullying as it delivers big slices of laughs and gore.
Cecilia (Aisha Dee) has 200,000 subscribers on her “Sincerely Cecilia” self-help channel, on which she conducts meditation practices and connects paid sponsors. When she randomly meets her childhood best friend Emma (Hannah Barlow) at a drugstore, she is obviously uncomfortable, although Emma seems genuinely happy to see her and invites Cecilia – formerly known as Sissy – at her hen party (bachelorette party).
Cecilia arrives, only to find that Alex (Emily De Margheriti), who bullied Cecilia as a child, is also present. A violent incident between the two took place when they were young, and Alex isn’t about to let “Sissy” forget about it.
Humor ranging from the uncomfortable to the jaw-dropping ensues, as old wounds open up — literally, in one scene — and one deadly act leads to another. Co-directors/co-writers Barlow and Kane Senes deliver the gruesome goods, balancing horror and comedy elements beautifully.
Dee is notable as the conflicted main character, who pretends to have it all online but lives in a neglected house and repeats self-care mantras to try to ground herself. The rest of the ensemble cast – which, besides Barlow, includes Lucy Barrett, Yerin Ha and Daniel Monks – all give splendid turns.
sissy – picked up by Shudder for future release – is a lively and colorful game that comes highly recommended for horror-comedy fans. With a main character who has his personality flaws but is still easy to root for, he’s a movie charmer.
sissy screens as part of SXSW, which runs from March 11-20, 2022 in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit https://www.sxsw.com/.