12 April 2024
From Sissy (2022)

2022 Edinburgh Film Festival Review – Sissy (2022)

After a traumatic incident as a teenager, Cecilia (Aisha Dee) has reinvented herself as a wellness influencer. But reconnecting with her estranged teenage best friend Emma will also reunite her with her bully, now a sadistic adult with a decade-long grudge. What’s meant to be a wholesome queer bachelorette getaway turns brutal when old wounds are reopened.

The former BFF Emma is played by Hannah Barlow who plays a triple threat as one of the film’s co-writers and co-directors alongside Kane Senes. One cannot fault their ambition as they take on a very bold narrative twist on the victim meeting their bully trope. Once it provides the exact details of the moment that pushed the BFFs apart, it pushes the audience to choose a side. A choice that is certainly not easy.

No character here is a saint. All are at fault for minor to major transgressions against each other. Admittedly it makes for a very difficult tightrope for the film to traverse. One that it does not make it across without stumbling. In terms of the plot and the tone, the horror film it resembles (or tries to imitate) the most is Tucker & Dale Vs Evil. It managed to strike the right balance between horror and comedy unwittingly become involved in an accidental murder spree.

Here it is difficult to know whether to scream or cheer and laugh at the increasingly outlandish and gruesome deaths. For some the final act (and choice of final girl) will either prove cathartic or alienating. Sissy is certainly no sissy when it comes to making some daring choices. However ones appreciation and enjoyment of them will ultimately come down to where their allegiances lie. As the youth of today might say Hashtag Conflicted!

★★


Comedy, horror | Australia, 2022 | 15 | 2022 EIFF | Dir. Kane Senes, Hannah Barlow | Aisha Dee, Hannah Barlow, Emily De Margheriti, Daniel Monks, Yerin Ha, Lucy Barrett


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