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Sissy Review | SXSW2022

Acquired recently by Shudder, even before the festival started, Sissy is following the lengthy and rocky trend of social media horror films, which I haven’t been the biggest fan of. Having said that, I was still excited to see how it was going to tackle the themes of trauma, pressure, and loneliness (which seem to be the main topics in these types of horror pictures). It begins with bright colors and a score that feels like it came out from a Disney Channel film. The sing-songy music cue makes you think that this was a farce on social media, which in a way it can be interpreted as such. After a couple of seconds of the camera circling the room, we meet Cecilia, a successful social media influencer living her dreams of giving self-care and mental health notes to her followers and filled with sponsors. By this point, we know that she hasn’t seen her childhood best friend, Emma, in a long while. 

It isn’t until she runs into her at the pharmacy and Emma invites her to her bachelorette weekend. What she doesn’t expect is that the quick vacation is in the remote cabin of her school bully, Alex. Things take a turn for the worse once we know what happened between the two–an incident that left Alex with a scar and trauma. Although there are some nice moments of tension in the first act, the other two don’t know what they want to be. Is it a social media slasher or a psychological thriller revolving around trauma? However, the main problem with this division is that none of them work properly on their own or in conjunction. The cast delivers dedicated performances, and they do fit the mold of obnoxious social media-induced adults, but the script has severe tonal dysfunctions that make Sissy a tight misfire. So, what kind of saves the film? It’s ending, and the risible kills. 


By Hector Gonzalez

Hector Gonzalez is a Puerto Rican chemical engineering student and film critic with a great passion for cinema, award shows, 1960s music, and the horror genre. Some of his favorite films are RAW, Eyes Without a Face, and The Green Ray.

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