When we can’t resist discussing a film pre-review, it’s usually because we either loved the weekly pick intensely or couldn’t stand it. We have strong feelings about movies–you know this by now. Or maybe not, random internet creep. Welcome?
Whatever our thoughts on the film, it’s going to be seasonally appropriate for Horror Month, whether good disturbing or bad disturbing.
Hannah Barlow & Kane Senes
While reconnecting with her childhood best friend, a popular social media influencer must also face the bully who could expose her darkest secret.
Though Cecilia has drifted apart from her childhood bff, she hasn’t forgotten how strong their connection once was…or how devastating it was when their friendship fell apart. Now a self-proclaimed mental health advocate and social media influencer, Cecilia promotes the practice of drawing a literal rope boundary around one’s self and embracing hyperventilation, all while enjoying sponsorship from Elon masks. (Coincidentally, your enjoyment of the “Elon masks” sponsorship is a pretty good way to gauge if this film is your kind of humor.)
Since years have passed, Cecilia is clearly beyond all of the drama. So when she runs into her former bestie Emma by chance, she does the emotionally mature thing and tries to avoid being noticed. When Emma does catch up with “Sissy” (Cecilia’s childhood nickname), she shares the news of her recent engagement to girlfriend Frances. Impulsively, Emma invites Cecilia to the engagement party.
Though Cecilia has trouble connecting with the new group of people in Emma’s life, the bond between childhood bffs easily resurfaces. Hoping to catch up, Emma (admittedly drunk as a skunk, or the Australian equivalent) invites Cecilia to the hen weekend in the countryside.
Unfortunately, the owner of the extremely chic estate is Alex, Cecilia’s bully as a child and usurper of bff to Emma status. Attempting to make peace with Alex, Cecilia has increasingly dark flashbacks of what went exactly went wrong. Meanwhile, Alex has no plans to forgive and forget, instead opting to dig up the past and provoke Cecilia into confessing her disturbing past behavior.
What will happen when Alex’s plan to draw out the “real” Cecilia works a bit too well?
4/5 Pink Panther Heads
This is a love it or hate it experience, I’m sure. I happened to love it. The horror elements are done well as Cecilia’s behavior becomes increasingly disconnected from reality. It’s both very fun and extremely disturbing to watch Cecilia unravel, as her innocent act isn’t an act at all to her–even while committing murder, she has mantras about being a good person to protect her. The cognitive dissonance is almost impressive.
We do get quite a lot of gore, and though the characters who cease to live don’t deserve their horrible deaths, it’s still satisfying to watch. It’s difficult not to sympathize with Cecilia as the film is so effective at understanding the feelings of childhood, especially when faced with bullies and rivals for bff status. Some of the surreal scenes involving lots of glitter increase in intensity as the bodies pile up, reflecting Cecilia’s knack for showing only the most pleasing elements as an influencer.
The sharp satire in the commentary is the best part in my opinion. While the perspectives on influencer culture aren’t necessarily new, they do get some good jabs in. The recurring Elon mask joke is my absolute favorite, though Cecilia’s therapy ropes and mantra that she’s a good person despite her actions are spot-on as well. Influencer accounts very often emphasize that you can improve yourself or your life by just thinking positively, which is not at all how CBT works.
I would watch a prequel, sequel, spin-off, and/or all of the above.