Sissy | Third Space


A brutal way to share a warning about online lives
Thu 13 Oct 2022

2 out of 5 stars

Wrapped up in this tale of mental health and revenge gone awry is a significant statement of the perils of codependency in our online communities. Writer/directors Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes attempt to shock their audience from their social media stupor by surrounding this message with a gruesome story of confronting the past.

This all begins within the influencer world of mental health advocate Cecilia (Aisha Dee). The online meditation guru reconnects with her former classmate, Emma (Hannah Barlow), on the day she achieves the milestone of two-hundred thousand followers. Even though they had not seen one another since they were twelve, Cecilia gets invited to the hens (bachelorette) weekend of this friend from her past. Yet, upon arrival at the party house, another former classmate, Alex (Emily De Margheriti) recognises the newest guest to the party and is not happy with this guest. Since Cecilia had acted out against her when they were children, but Emma does all she can to smooth things out between these two childhood friends. Except, all this exacerbates tensions and leads to devastating consequences for all involved.

The eventual bloodbath that occurs may distract from the outstanding performance of Aisha Dee. This former child actress manages to come into her own as she shows her depth as an actress. As she travels between the sweet online persona to the mentally unstable revenge-driven killer, there is a brilliance to her method. In the blood-drenched scenes, she conveys the disturbing influence an internet following can have on a person. The challenge is being willing to endure the violence and gore that propels this screenplay forward.

For horror fans, Sissy will whet the appetite of all who enjoy watching creative new ways for people to die. There is no holding back on the viscous and gory details communicated on-screen, which might be the very thing loved by devotees of this genre. Yet, the messaging that might get lost in the murder is the horrific nature of bullying and the psychological impact of finding your identity on the world wide web. These moral statements make this film a consideration for those who love this storytelling model. Still, it might be hard to stomach for those with weaker constitutions.

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Reel Dialogue: Warnings of the love of the internet

In a world of cyberbullying and identity theft, film audiences do not have to dig too deep to find movies that depict the evils that occur online.

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. - 1 Timothy 6:10a

One thing that does come about from this screenplay may be the theological morality of the surfing the net. Like money, the internet and social media are amoral elements that can be used for good or evil. People can rail against the evils of these web-based items that have infiltrated modern life, but the root problem is not the tools themselves, but the users.

The warnings do not need to be about these tools as much as how they are used. Society has to come to terms with the fact that no one is indeed anonymous in the world. Every keystroke and swipe has consequences, and each action should be accountable in this life or the next. The message that needs to be sent about the evil seen on the internet comes from within the hearts of those using it. To deal with the problem, people need to turn their phones, computers, and cameras on themselves and do some reflections. Better yet, it may mean turning these devices off, engaging with the real world, and realising there is more to be found there than those who love online.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6