I decided to come back to Shudder today with another Shudder original, Sissy (2022). This film is about the title character who is stuck in a remote cabin with her high school bully. Apparently, she or the bully has a taste for revenge. I’m not exactly sure who has the taste of revenge because of the way the summary was written.
The movie starts with footage of two children who are gushing about how they are best friends. It then cuts forward in time to Cecilia’s (IMDb says she’s also known as Sissy) online video about dealing with hyperventilation. It’s already a strange scene because Cecilia (played by Aisha Dee) is staring straight into the camera. It makes sense if you’re watching a YouTube channel, but since this is a horror movie, watching her stare into the camera while she begins to fake hyperventilate and wearing a smile is beyond creepy.
Turns out, Cecilia is a content creator. There’s definitely some kind of message they’re trying to get across about how the human body reacts to positive feedback on YouTube videos because when Cecilia reads all the positive comments her blood vessels open, and her eyes dilate.
During a chance encounter at a drug store, Cecilia runs into the other girl in the opening video, her supposed best friend forever Emma (played by Hannah Barlow). Emma is really happy to see her, but Cecilia isn’t happy to see her. Turns out, Emma is getting married and insists that Cecilia come to the bachelorette party. The night is filled with karaoke, dancing, alcohol, and a drunken Emma and completely sober Cecilia sharing a duet. Emma invites her to a hen’s weekend… whatever that is.
You start to feel sad for Cecilia because she’s getting all this attention from Emma and Emma’s friends and Cecilia is genuinely smiling and having fun. You get the feeling that she doesn’t have any friends outside of the online ones.
As they’re traveling to their destination, Cecilia who’s driving the van, finds out her high school bully Alex (played by Emily De Margheriti) is going to be there. She has a flashback to when they were kids and Alex is taunting her. She’s brought back out of it just as she hits a kangaroo with the van. Oh, by the way this is based in Australia. The kangaroo is still breathing, but obviously on its way out. Cecilia looks down at the beast, but then sees the younger version of Alex instead, all bloody and dying.
When they arrive at the hen house, Cecilia and Alex come face to face with each other. Alex is visibly shaken and pulls Emma outside to speak privately. I’m pretty sure that Alex was on the receiving end of something traumatic at the hands of Cecilia when they were kids and that’s why Emma and Cecilia aren’t friends anymore. The movie wanted us to sympathize with Cecilia, but I have a sneaky feeling that Cecilia will turn out to be the psychopath and not Alex.
Turns out, spoilers, that when they were kids, Emma didn’t invite Cecilia to her birthday party because Cecilia didn’t get along with all the other girls. Alex was the one to break the news to Cecilia. When Alex leads everyone in a rousing chant of “Sissy the sissy”, Cecilia attacked her. Not just attacking her, mind you. Cecilia took one of those gardening hand shovels and jammed it into Alex’s cheek. You see that in all its gory detail.
Fast forward to the hen’s weekend and Alex and Cecilia encounters each other again. Alex has taken Cecilia’s phone and tries to get her to confess to what she did all those years ago in a video. When she doesn’t, Alex records herself telling the story and tries to upload it to Cecilia’s channel. A struggle for the phone ensues resulting with Cecilia bashing the back of Alex’s head in with a healing crystal.
Ironic, but I like it. Also, I knew she wasn’t going to be the hero. Nailed it.
As she’s dragging the body of her old school bully, Cecilia takes a moment to loot the corpse and takes half of the BFF pendant that Alex was wearing. The other half is around Emma’s neck. I don’t know where in Australia they’re vacationing at, but there’s amazing cell phone reception because Cecilia is able to livestream a video about acts of kindness and paying it forward. She has to hide though when one of Emma’s friends comes walking by. The guy discovers Alex’s body and takes off running. Cecilia gives chase.
Cecilia ends up killing him by pushing him off a cliff. And it’s one of the funnier death scenes because it reminded me of Plinko. You know the game where you drop a disc down the board, and it hits the pegs along the way? Well, imagine the guy is the disc and the trees sticking out of the cliff face as the pegs.
Meanwhile, Emma decides to go find and apologize to Alex. It takes some time, but she ends up calling Alex’s phone and finding her purse in a stream. Emma goes in after the purse and ends up on her back flowing down the stream. Emma turns out alright.
One by one, all of Emma’s friends die at Cecilia’s hands. In very accidental and convenient ways.
The ending of the film pits the two “best friends” against each other.
So, story wise, it’s a clean script. Everything that was alluded to in the first act paid off by the third act. The character of Cecilia was one that you sympathized with but hated all the same. There was an incredible amount of gore, but at times it was totally unbelievable. The acting was top notch, especially from Dee.
Overall, I thought it was an interesting movie with an interesting message about content creation. However, I just didn’t enjoy the villain winning. Normally, I’m all for it, but in this case, it was far too predictable and happened way too quickly.
31 Days of Horror Rankings
- Sissy (2022)