‘Don’t be a sissy.’
Sissy is a 2022 Australian horror film in which the titular character is stuck in a remote cabin with her high school bully.
Written and directed by Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes. Produced by John De Margheriti, Bec Janek, Lisa Shaunessy and Jason Taylor.
The Arcadia-DEMS Entertainment-Dog Park Pictures production stars Aisha Dee, Hannah Barlow and Emily De Margheriti.
Cecilia (Aisha Dee) and Emma were teenage best friends who assumed they’d both grow old together and never let anything come between them… until Alex (Emily De Margheriti) arrived on the scene.
Twelve years later, Cecilia is a successful social media influencer living the dream of an independent, modern millennial woman, until she runs into Emma for the first time in over a decade. Emma invites Cecilia away on her bachelorette weekend at a remote cabin in the mountains, where Alex proceeds to make Cecilia’s weekend a living hell…
“The very first kill happens when the group hits a kangaroo and runs back over it – it’s gross, but don’t worry, the worst is yet to come! Sissy blends this brutality with fun and camp in a way that might make you cringe, but you’ll be laughing the whole time.” 8/10 AIPT
“Sissy is harrowing, but only because so many of us have seen the edge that Cecilia topples over. The horror isn’t just in the gruesome murders we witness onscreen, but also in the fact that many of us probably had these raging revenge dreams, we just also had the good sense to keep them in our heads.” Black Girl Nerds
“The practical effects are all stellar, with the brutality cranked up to 11 as more bodies start to pile up. The film is never scary, but it’s also not trying to be. Calling Sissy a horror comedy would be a bit of a stretch, but there’s a certain playfulness to the proceedings that prevents things from getting too dark. Outside of Cecilia, none of the characters are fleshed out…” Bloody Disgusting
“We’re never surprised by the narrative direction the film takes. Indeed, at times one feels like it’s taking too long to reach its almost foregone conclusion, making it difficult to avoid a sense of the film feeling bloated. Sissy ultimately doesn’t break any ground within the genre, but Barlow and Senes embrace these tropes rather than try to avoid them…” 7/10 Film Threat
“Wonderfully whimsical, Sissy is wickedly inventive with its story-telling structure, made whole by Aisha Dee’s exceptionally charismatic lead performance. An intoxicating tale of the toxicity of female friendships, the distracting power of social media, and the trauma that childhood leaves behind.” 4/5 The Hollywood News
“It delivers a pointed commentary on social media culture, as well as bullying and psychological torment. The Bold Type star Aisha Dee leads an ensemble cast, and she breaks the mold by delivering one of 2022’s best performances thus far. An almost whimsical score helps to pad this satirical tale with an atmospheric sheen.” 4.5/5 Josh at the Movies
“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.” 5/5 Nightmare on Film Street
“Sissy gives a striking blend of comedy and horror. The film uses stylish filter effects common on social media sites like Instagram and TikTok, amplifying the discomfort and hilarious edge that borders on hysteria as the violence ramps up […] I recommend it because of the story, pacing, music, and acting.” Nightmarish Conjurings
“For all its initial fixation on playground squabbles and metrosexual revelry/rivalry, Sissy will eventually settle on the kind of grotesque body count familiar from the slasher genre […] Meanwhile, Barlow and Senes’ funny, subversive and uncomfortable feature uses its own uneasy duplicity to fight bullying, to win the viewer’s love and to maximise its hits…” Projected Figures
“Slow clap for the editing in Sissy. It is clever and engaging from the beginning. The tension in the script is a deliberate build, sort of like ascending a rollercoaster, knowing that that first drop is coming and will be one many. But there are moments of silliness that cut through the anticipation. Overall a slick structure that never lets up.” Reel News Daily
“Sissy manages to make a skincare face mask genuinely eerie. You’ll never look at one the same way again. Barlow and Senes craft a slasher with a passion that comes through in their film about the consequences of caring too much about what people think. Sissy is a delectably funny and gory horror feast.” Showbiz Cheat Sheet
“Sissy is a hard movie to pin down in the same way that it’s hard to pin down any of its characters […] This is a movie without any real heroes. That is, except for Cecilia. Aisha Dee’s star-is-born performance keeps you completely captivated in her, even when your sympathies start to wane. By the end, Sissy will have you cheering for more carnage — and carnage it will deliver.” Smash Cut
Sissy will have its world premiere at the SXSW festival on March 11th 2022.
Meanwhile, Variety has reported that “Shudder will be the exclusive streamer for the film in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.”
Cast and characters (alphabetical):
Aisha Dee … Cecilia / Sissy
Lucy Barrett … Fran
Yerin Ha … Tracey
Victoria Hopkins … Police Sargent
Alea O’Shea … Chloe
Darcie Irwin-Simpson … Taysha
Hannah Barlow … Emma
Daniel Monks … Jamie
Michael Slater … Dancer
Emily De Margheriti … Alex
Ryan Panizza … Matty J
Jared Jekyll … Rapper
Amelia Lule … Young Cecilia