Whether you have a phobia of influencers or can’t take your eyes off social media, there’s no need to worry: Sissy is a 2022 movie that fulfills both needs.
Indeed, the protagonist works by sharing tips on nutrition, fitness, beauty and healthy living through her videos on social media.
With her videos and curated image of a serene and happy girl, Sissy (as they called her as a child, but today she goes by Cecilia) gained 200,000 followers who watch and adore her.
However, behind her perfect influencer persona lies an inner fragility pushing her to isolate and live an existence focused only on virtual approval.
One day, by pure chance, she meets her childhood best friend, Emma, who is happy to see her again after all those years and invites her to celebrate the official engagement with her girlfriend.
Sissy is doubtful about whether to accept, as Emma reminds her about the happiest time of her life, along with a terrible episode of violence.
Among their schoolmates was another girl who was always teasing her until one day, she reacted by seriously injuring her face.
Eventually, she joined in, celebrating at a disco and then going to an elegant mansion in the middle of the woods to spend the weekend together.
Unfortunately, the hostess is Alex, the same little girl she once attacked, who has obviously never forgotten the horrible episode.
Despite the atmosphere of cheerfulness among all their friends, Sissy begins a slow and inevitable descent into the hell of the past she tried so hard to leave behind.
The price to pay will be a return to the craziness in an even worse way, more vicious than when she was a child.
Following the kill-fluencer
Although it may be a bit predictable, especially for horror genre lovers, Sissy is a 2022 movie featuring a range of fascinating topics well blended within the screenplay.
Indeed, the plot, in an intriguing way, deals with social isolation, distorted representation of personal identity on social media, and psychological violence.
Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes demonstrate a remarkable mastery of directing and writing despite their young age and short careers, suggesting a promising future for them in the cinematic industry.
With their skill, they transform the social network world, which for many of us is familiar and comfortable, into a sick mirror reflecting a completely different reality, one that Sissy does not want to admit even to herself.
Do not be fooled by the sweet and childlike appearance of the protagonist: when violence erupts, the movie offers numerous splatter scenes that might shock the most sensitive.
I therefore clearly warn there are extreme visual moments with blood and cruelty that can be very heavy to digest.
While the violence and blood run rampant for fans of the rawest horror, fortunately, it all does not boil down to a mere series of murders; instead, the plot unravels gradually with growing suspense that will not disappoint expectations.
Sissy not only induces terror but offers a depressing portrayal of those who make careers their only obsession, even outside the influencer sphere.
For example, during her most uncomfortable moments, the protagonist clings to her relaxation exercises, as if she can never unplug from work and return to reality.
This makes us think about how modern society pushes people to become slaves to success, appearances, and the image they want to give of themselves, leading them to lose sight of their humanity and the value of real life.
The promise of a cinematically brilliant future
The young Sissy/Cecilia (almost two different personalities) is Aisha Dee, a promising actress like the young directors.
She is a protagonist who is not easy to understand and sometimes even challenging to endure. Yet, she simultaneously can disturb even when she smiles innocently, letting out the madness behind her mask.
However, although she is a homicidal maniac seemingly relishing cruelty, she is also a victim of her past and the acts of psychological violence suffered as a child, the mental effects of which she hypocritically denies, eventually getting absorbed into her madness.
In addition to directing the movie with Kane Senes, Hannah Barlow also plays the role of Emma, Sissy‘s best friend who unknowingly initiates the terrible bloodbath.
However, Emma is not innocent either, as she does not intervene and even finds it amusing when her best friend suffers bullies in school.
In this sense, the box buried in childhood by the two friends becomes an eloquent symbol of the hypocrisy of those who prefer to ignore the pain of others in favor of their convenience.
Therefore, when Sissy digs it up, it almost seems as if she is reopening a wound never fully healed, making clear the fragility of the protagonist’s mental balance.
Equally ambiguous is the character of Alex, played with class by Emily De Margheriti, making her glacial and insufferable personality believable and disturbing simultaneously.
Alex is both a victim and a bully depending on the scene. Although we initially dislike how she treats the protagonist, we eventually understand this spoiled rich girl’s point of view through the revelation of what happened in the past.
I conclude by emphasizing that Sissy is not a movie for everyone, and even slasher horror lovers may find this small Australian independent production unusual from 2022.