SXSW 2022: Sissy Review

SXSW excels at creating an amazing environment, especially for horror films to really shine. Sissy is one of those films. Two childhood friends reconnect after a chance encounter in the grocery store, and Cecilia (Aisha Dee) is invited to Emma’s (Hannah Barlow) bachelorette party last minute. Once home, Cecilia debates attending the event. She turns to her many online followers as encouragement that she is enough and deserves to have fun. Cecilia, excited to reconnect with her once best friend, heads to the party and is reminded of how much she missed Emma.

Emma’s friends, Jamie (Daniel Monks), Tracey (Yerin Ha), and her fiancé, Fran (Lucy Barrett), are welcoming and make Cecilia feel part of the group. Emma, in a drunken stupor, invites Cecilia to come to the bachelorette weekend they have planned, forgetting one major issue with that. Once Cecilia arrives at the bachelorette weekend, she realizes that the host is none other than her childhood nemesis and the person who stole Emma from her, Alex (Emily De Margheriti). As the film progresses, we learn more about the rivalry between Alex and Cecilia, which comes to a surprisingly twisted breaking point.

What I love about Sissy is how fresh the film feels. It is so of this moment and a commentary on society’s perceptions of social media and social media personalities. Cecilia, Alex, and Emma are forced to relive their childhood issues and face them in a new light. Some of them face it in a way that is healthy and some of them face it in a way that is homicidal. The writing and the humor are on point and hit perfectly. Each death in the film tops the other and leaves you in complete shock.

The film doesn’t shy away from the gore or the gross factor but rather embraces it in a way that makes the audience cringe with delight. There is a particularly gruesome scene involving a car that just stays with you long after the film has ended. The end of the film is so satisfying and infuriating at the same time.

Each actor fits their role perfectly. Cecilia was a wonderful combination of sweet and psycho that keeps you guessing throughout the whole film. Aisha Dee hits it out of the park with her performance.

Sissy is a fantastic first feature from Hannah Barrow and Kane Senes. It feels diabolical and is total unhinged mayhem that makes me incredibly excited to see their next project.

Written by
Ashley Menzel is an avid film lover and lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves foreign films and dramas and reading books that have film adaptations. Her favorite movie of all time is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She loves Doctor Who, Supernatural, iZombie, and Grimm.

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