The Reel Review
A successful social media influencer who was bullied as a child finds herself immersed in a twisted weekend of revenge after she reluctantly agrees to attend her childhood best friend’s hen party, or bachelorette gathering, at a remote cabin, only to discover upon arrival that the host is her main childhood tormenter, in this Australian horror/comedy.
Writer/directors Kane Senes and Hannah Barlow, who also co-stars as Sissy’s childhood best friend Emma, have crafted a deliciously dark tale of childhood trauma and revenge set to the backdrop of reality-warping social media activity and silly, superficial wellness videos as cheap substitutes for real life friendships and actual mental health therapy. A surreal score sets the chilling vibe with an impressive Aisha Dee (The Bold Type) as the empathetic social media star who finds herself an increasingly unhinged social outcast.
Fans of Ti West’s 2022 horror Pearl will almost certainly relate to this very similar “who’s really the villain” type horror, with gnarly kills and some surprisingly impressive gore, as Sissy unleashes her pent-up rage on the group of mean girls (and a frustratingly stereotypical gay boy). In the third act, Sissy gives up its more thought-provoking satirical spin on social media for a more traditional, off-the-rails slasher horror, that while not so revelatory, is still gruesomely entertaining.
• In addition to co-starring, co-writing and co-directing Sissy, Hannah Barlow also co-wrote and sings the last song in the credits, “An Ode to Narcisa.”
• Filmed in just 21 days in Canberra, Australia, Sissy has been nominated for three 2022 AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) awards – for Best Film, Best Actress (Aisha Dee) and Best Director (Kane Senes and Hannah Barl0w).
• Kane Senes and Hannah Barlow also wrote, directed and starred in the 2019 road trip dramedy For Now.