I didn’t know I needed a horror movie about mean girls in my life, but boy did I.

Few kids made it out of adolescence unscathed by the wounds of childhood hierarchy. Bullies, frenemies, cool kids pretending you don’t exist, pick your poison. And even though these spurns went down on the soccer field in between first and second period, these wounds run deep. And they still sting.  How crazy that such a universally held experience — the buried traumas of burn books passed — isn’t a staple premise of the horror genre?

 

“..sweet and scary”

 

Australian horror Sissy, from writer/director duo Kane Senes and Hannah Barlow (who actually plays one of the lead roles) capitalizes on just that.

Sissy follows wellness influencer Cecilia (Aisha Dee), and don’t you dare call her Sissy. Cecilia is zen, grounded, and getting high on the dopamine hits from her followers smashing that like button. Everything unravels after she bumps into her childhood-but-now-ex-bestie Emma (Hannah Barlow).


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Emma practically drags Cecilia back aboard her friendship train, forcefully inviting her to join in the festivities of her up-and-coming wedding. But when Cecilia’s childhood bully Alex (Emily De Margheriti) joins in on the fun, the party becomes anything but.

 

 

Sissy is fresh, fun, and fast-paced. Even though Cecilia’s profession earns an instant cringe, she warms us over instantly with her sweetness. Aisha Dee brings a bubbly exuberance to the role, and keeps us bound tightly to #TeamSissy, even when we definitely maybe probably shouldn’t be.

What starts out as a quirky movie about friendship quickly descends into a horror bloodbath in all the right places. Sissy is able to turn the tablse completely, without dropping the glitter and girlishness that it oozes aesthetically.
Yes. I said this horror movie oozes glitter.

 

Sissy is fresh, fun, and fast-paced.

 

Sissy is smart in its sweetness. Quirky edits and overlays, charming transitions from livestream to murder scene, and a fresh, feminine perspective keep this horrific weekend away from falling into the pitfalls of been there, seen that.


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The kills are lively (heh) and inventive, keeping the energy levels high as Sissy wreaks havoc on its unsuspecting wedding party. Though some of the bodies scattered about the woods may be a little too easily discoverable and guests may be a little too easily separated for plotty purposes, Sissy’s just got too much dang personality for us to #phonethepolice. (Is that a real hashtag the youths use? I don’t even know anymore)

 

“…fresh and inventive […] the perfect horror flick for a girls’ night”

 

After Sissy, I’m officially ready to claim that Aussies really know how to go off the rails. A perfect pairing for Sean Byrne’s 2009 The Loved Ones, or even Wolf Creek (2005) if you want to go boondocking.

Sissy is sweet and scary. The story is fresh and inventive, but the film truly stands out with its whimsical editing and charming, well-rounded characters. Sissy is the perfect horror flick for a girls’ night, or dare I say, a weekend away.

 

Sissy celebrated its world premiere at SXSW 2022 in the Narrative Feature Competition. Check out more of our coverage of the 2022 SXSW film festival here. Let us know if you’re excited to check out Sissy over on Twitter or in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord!

 

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