HORROR; 1hr 42min
STARRING: Aisha Dee, Hannah Barlow, Emily De Margheriti
Phone service: Dee
From the outside, childhood bonds are the purest that little girls will ever know. Witness 12-year-old Cecilia (Amelia Lule; Dee as an adult) and Emma (Camille Cumpston; the adult Emma is played by director and co-writer Barlow), who swear lifelong allegiance in Barlow and Kane Senes’s Australian horror romp. We meet the girls, giggly and mutually worshipful, on Cecilia’s home video. But 12 years later the waters have clouded and the forever besties have drifted so far apart that when mental-wellness influencer Cecilia (200,000 followers) catches sight of Emma in a pharmacy, her first instinct is to duck for cover.
To no avail: after being spotted by an ecstatic Emma, one social moment leads to another and “Sissy” — a childhood nickname Cecilia does not want to own — finds herself in a hyped carload of fellow guests, en route to Emma’s hens’ weekend in, groan, an isolated mountainside cabin.
If this holy horror cliché weren’t a huge enough red flag, the lingering of cinematographer Steve Arnold’s camera on an eviscerated, fly-infested animal corpse that the party car passes on the way there pumps the blood into the proverbial red flag. Crucially, Cecilia and Emma didn’t simply drift apart, they were prised into broken halves by interloper Alex (April Blasdall back then; De Margheriti today), who is hosting the weekend and is livid to see her schoolyard bête noire there.
The hijinks launch with tension and tears on Cecilia’s cornered part, but what looks like a straightforward peck-system scenario turns itself inside out when appearances fall apart. The speed at which everything else goes bonkers with them is at once a twisty ride through a dark night of psychosis, a neat skewering of the funhouse of influencer culture and the most diabolical hens’ do since confetti was invented.