Directed by Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, ‘Sissy’ is an education on how not to handle childhood bullies.
Cecilia is an instagram influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers. Her online persona, Sincerely Cecilia, teaches ways to stay centered, grounded and mindful of your surroundings and feelings. Her fans and followers love her and she has created a peaceful environment for herself. One day Cecilia runs into her childhood best friend and is invited to come celebrate her upcoming wedding. This sets the stage for everything to start to unravel for our dear sweet Cecilia. Hesitant she accepts and they are off to spend the weekend away. The only thing, Cecilia’s childhood bully is there.
Things start out innocent enough until Sissy’s bully sees her walk through the door. Although through flashbacks we see how terrible Alex, the bully, is we also begin to see how young Sissy handled her bully. Let’s just say it’s not how Sincerely Cecilia would handle things. Sissy tries hard to take control of her feelings. She doesn’t want the past to dictate who she is now but it’s becoming harder and harder. As the weekend goes on tensions grow until it finally breaks.
Sissy tackles some interesting social concepts that we deal with today. During dinner Alex asks Sissy what she does to have so many followers. As she starts to tell them that she teaches people how to deal with personal struggles, everyone at the table is quick to judge her telling her that she isn’t qualified to help people with their issues yet she makes a living doing it essentially calling her a fraud. Sissy insists that she is clear with all of her fans that she isn’t a professional and that she is just there to comfort those who need it. We soon realize how different Sissy and her online person Sincerely Cecilia really are and she doesn’t quite practice what she preaches. We are all quick to judge a person by how they represent themselves online but they may not be what they seem. The Internet is a powerful tool and if used correctly you can convince anyone you are anything.
The use of special effects in ‘Sissy’ creates an interesting vibe. From glitter changing into stars in the sky and talking paintings, it gives the horror film a little bit of a whimsical feel. The blood and gore is out of control and satisfying. The twist at the end is worth the wait. There are only a few characters you really root for but in the end you really don’t know who will make it out alive once Cecilia lets “Sissy” come to the party.
Shudder has acquired ‘Sissy’ so be on the lookout. It’s worth the watch for the kills alone. Be kind to others, so you don’t become the next bully revenge plot. And think twice about that self help guru you found online. They may not be as put together as they may seem.
SXSW 2022: ‘Sissy’is an Education on How Not to Handle Childhood Bullies