- Colin Fraser
THREE STARS A group of friends hold a hens party on a rural property. What could possibly go wrong?
HORROR COMEDY Australia #TRIGGERED
Starring Aisha Dee, Hannah Barlow
Mining a rich vein of cinematic comedy-horror, SISSY does everything it suggests it will in the trailer. There are laughs, jolts, scares and gore as, one by one, characters are picked off by a revengeful killer - all in time for Halloween.
Cecilia, formerly known as Sissy, trades in self-help mantras and pay-it-forward niceness that has earned her a sizeable following of digital admirers. By chance she runs into a friend who invites her to a hens-party at a country retreat. She’s reluctant - old school mates will be there and school was not a happy place for Sissy - but agrees to go anyway. No sooner do they arrive than her fears are realised. The weekend has been organised by a spiteful girl who bullied her the most. Worse, she didn’t know Sissy was coming and she’s not happy about it. Events are put in train that will trigger Cecilia’s emotional fragility.
There’s little that’s especially original about SISSY as bad things inevitably befall the group, remote and isolated from the outside world. Dealing with roadkill foreshadows a car accident, and you immediately know how that’ll play out. So while you’ve seen this construct a hundred times before, to the credit of the writer/director team of Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, rather than pretend otherwise they lean into the obvious and make it a virtue with quite some success. There’s tension aplenty and, if you find slasher/horror funny, plenty of laughs to go with it.
A solid cast is held up by equally solid production, bright design by Michael Price and engaging camera work of Steve Arnold (RAMS). SISSY may be a blunt instrument of satire as it assaults a myriad of plagues on youth culture, but it’s a fun one none the less.