“You’re horrible, Muriel!” is written on somebody’s t-shirt right here, in order that’s fairly nice.
No person likes social influencers. Positive, they’ve the followers to counsel in any other case, however social media is dwelling to the lies we inform ourselves and others. Influencers exploit that within the title sponsorships, product gross sales, and on-line reputation. No person truly likes influencers, together with, it seems, influencers themselves. Sissy isn’t the primary style effort to pair on-line personas and app-likes with homicide and mayhem — Tragedy Women (2017) does it extraordinarily properly, Spree (2020) and Superhost (2021) do it additionally — however this new Australian horror/comedy goes laborious condemning these on either side of the display with combined outcomes.
Cecilia (Aisha Dee), recognized to her a whole bunch of hundreds of on-line followers as @SincerelyCecilia, is all about validation and affirmation. She shares ideas with viewers on easy methods to relax, focus your power, and dwell a wholesome life each bodily and mentally to be your greatest self. In fact, she’s a bit much less properly put-together offscreen with rather a lot to be desired in terms of social abilities. An unplanned run-in together with her previous buddy Emma (Hannah Barlow, who additionally co-writes/co-directs) nearly ideas her over the sting, however a spontaneous invite to Hannah’s bachelorette weekend leaves Cecilia extra excited than confused. The 2 had been greatest buddies as children till a woman named Alex and violent incident cut up them aside. However hey, it’s been ten years, what may go wro–oh, a nonetheless bodily scarred Alex (Emily De Margheriti) is internet hosting the weekend at her household’s distant summer time dwelling? Time to bust out the relief candles.
Sissy pulls no punches in terms of its razor-sharp critique of influencer tradition, and its disdain spreads to the type of viewers who take in manufactured realities of all types. We don’t meet any of Cecilia’s followers, however Emma and her buddies are proven engorging themselves on trashy actuality tv and hurtful gossip to the purpose that it’s troublesome to see them as victims. That turns into one of many movie’s points, although, as with one minor exception there’s nobody right here to root for or have a good time — even when the movie itself encourages audiences to cheer on the killer.
Cecilia, or Sissy as she was generally known as a child, is a severely mentally ailing younger lady who spirals laborious and quick over the course of the weekend resulting in each determined runs to social media for reward and real-world bloodletting. Even earlier than then, although, she’s having common breakdowns and seeing bloody visions in the dead of night. There’s an effort made to color her as a sufferer of bullying, a critical offense that’s led to the creation of quite a few slasher killers, however writers/administrators Barlow & Kane Senes can’t resist making her the anti-hero of the movie. She’s goofy and needs so badly to be accepted, and you’ll’t assist however really feel for her scenario early on, however she shortly reveals herself to be actual bother and a real villain. That makes for an oddly unappealing lesson because the movie is mainly suggesting that you just’re completely proper to single out and keep away from the bizarre child in school or the unusual particular person at work — generally they’re probably the most attention-grabbing folks and infrequently in want of buddies!
Talking of which, the buddies are all painted so bitchily that their subsequent murders depart viewers unfazed, though some will little doubt be smiling at Cecilia’s antics. (I’ll admit a smile graced my very own lips at a sure head pop.) However what to make of Emma? She’s the one character in Sissy who’s remotely human and likable, the one one harmless of offense — sure, it was a poor selection bringing Cecilia and Alex collectively once more, however her anger at her buddies for being imply in direction of Cecilia feels real. Emma seems like a lynchpin character that would have triggered some attention-grabbing conversations in distinction to the remainder, however the movie does nothing together with her.
The brilliant aspect to Sissy‘s love for its important character is Dee’s terrifically charismatic efficiency. She’s mildly interesting as she spouts self-help nonsense, however she comes alive within the scenes the place she’s truly attempting to socialize and be sincerely pleasant. Later scenes the place she crumbles emotionally hit due to an emotional flip, and whereas the tone doesn’t essentially land you’ll nonetheless admire her chops. Barlow’s Emma can be an excellent flip, however the remaining characters are sometimes performed a bit too broad to be both interesting or spectacular.
The movie’s visuals pop at instances with social media-infused stylizations, and the rating finds an equally playful tone — however good gravy will you need to punch its incessant presence proper within the dick. Composer Kenneth Lampl finds some shiny beats, however it’s overused to the purpose of obnoxiousness. The thought is presumably to maintain apace with Cecilia’s psychological world, however it prevents some scenes from respiratory the best way the necessity to. Nonetheless, it appears good, and Barlow/Senes hold the movie’s power up for the majority of its barely overlong working time.
Sissy manages some partaking condemnation of our social media-fueled tradition and entertains with a few of its kills, however its themes and observations depart rather a lot to be desired. Cecilia is a nasty particular person — unwell and bullied, but additionally homicidal and delusional. The movie doesn’t appear as satisfied, although, leaving her an antihero we’re meant to love, comply with, and retweet.
Associated Subjects: Sissy