Certain concepts just don't lend themselves well to a slasher film styled premise, and I really wish someone smart would tackle the cultural rift our society is experiencing today. Ultimately, there's a lot going on in the buildup of this film, i.e. The first half, which was good enough that it at least was able to take a large part of the zeitgeist of our society as it is today in 2022, now just 2023, and lay it all out on the table for you.
The filmmakers decided to focus heavily on the social media aspect. All I can say is I'm so bored of this angle, which by now has been done to death, and more to the point, my personal opinion: I actually don't agree that social media and the internet, in and of themselves, are an unhealthy medium for the human mind. That's such an over-simplified diagnosis. I don't think people are any more disconnected per se, than they were in the days before the internet, and I don't think people are any more fake. The middle aged single man who was bitterly alone with no one to talk to amidst the everyday city bustle, was a common trope in the pre-internet era. Then after a couple decades of a free internet, came mass centralization. People are more monitored, more regulated, and less free. As a result, today people live within ideological cells. That's what's eating people alive from the inside out. To people who rely on these specific platforms, the online context creates an exponentially negative effect, both on the ADULTS being coddled, and on the ADULTS being shut out of the exchange.
Sissy, the main protagonist, is a video blogger, so the question is, how much of the social media aspect is truly relevant to her eventual meltdown? At the crux of it, this is a film about bullying. The problem is, bullying is not something you can protect people from, because it's very subjective. If you are overly-protected from something, you will feel attacked, victimized, and a sensory overload when you are exposed to it. That will often feel like bullying if you're not used to it. If you are used to it, it won't. The thing is, if you can't handle negative criticism online, then you don't deserve positive reinforcement, because the positive reinforcement is no longer real when the people who criticize you or dislike you are being blocked from your line of sight as if they don't exist... but they do exist... Certain places online these days create a really fake environment that sets people up for some very unrealistic expectations; i.e. Safe spaces, which make people ultimately unable to deal with adversity. Sissy found her safe space online, but it didn't help her in the real world. If the film makers are trying to communicate any sort of deeper message to you, it's probably that.
The above internet-based social life is the norm for zoomers today, especially those in middle class neighborhoods, who experience a lot of their "bullying" online. For most of MY upbringing, and Gen-Xers before me, the context for bullying was schoolyard name-calling, or a rock being hurled at your head. It's this particular crossroad, both cultural and technological that specifically applies to millennials who had the rare experience of both worlds in their formative years, which makes this such an awesome subject to tackle, specifically in the Australian context. I lived in Australia for a bit. The classic Australian has a very gruff sardonic non PC demeanor. I've met a lot of people who've grown up in the Melbourne public school system. Bullying can be on a whole other level there, especially among girls.
I think by far, the more interesting angle than the social media angle, is the cultural crossroads being experienced in places like Australia today; classic gruff Australian culture, being inundated by American-styled wokeness. What makes Australia such an interesting microcosm for this, is they're still a largely unified society. It's not right vs. Left in the same way that it is in North America. Australians can actually disagree and have conversations with each other, for the mostpart. Again, this wedge is not created by social media. Social media that's over-regulated simply puts it on steroids, for the reasons stated earlier.
Alex the main antagonist in this film, represents the old-school classic in-your-face bully who's very anti pc, and not at all worried about being overtly offensive, the classic gruff Australian "mean girl." It's clear to you early on that she's definitely a nasty person who hasn't changed in adulthood, one who deserves everything bad she gets. That being said, she's by far the most compelling character in the film, and as such, she'll probably remind you of someone who "nice" people would keep around, just because they're so dull in comparison to her. Sissy, and basically all the other characters at the 6 person party are typical smarmy woke progressive types who take a moment to comment on the "white privilege" in a generic reality tv show, people who click their fingers instead of clap I. E. VERY dull individuals.
Everyone in the film is a sensationalized archetype, but not to the point of being caricature, in my opinion. People like this are very real. Sissy, having been ruthlessly bullied as a child by Alex, has found new-age progressivism to be the perfect vessel for her to overcome her personal trauma. A greater focus on this aspect, the question of trauma in a macro-societal context is what could have made the film so much more than what it is. You can't get rid of bullying, EVER, nor can you get rid of trauma. Why? Because human beings have an inherent desire to destroy anything that's not like them. That's part of your biology and it's hardwired into you. So what is the answer to a better world and to a better society? There is no answer: something that people don't want to hear, and don't want to come to terms with. There's only shifting goal posts. If you make it so people can't express ideas that are "hateful" or use words that are "hurtful," the people who use those words or express those ideas will be ruthlessly bullied, no matter their intent.
There's a certain brutality in the discourse today that makes it very hard to be a free thinker. That being said. The type of bullying people have experienced in the 70's, 80's, and 90's when people were extremely unregulated was brutal too. The problem is, if you think 20th century brutality was a net negative compared to the regulated world we live in now, you still have to contend with the fact that suicide rates are through the roof today, as is mass murder. People need freedom. If they don't have it, they lose their minds. It's as simple as that, and if they don't experience bullying, it's harder for them to learn how to overcome adversity.
While the premise and buildup of the film really seemed quite promising, it sadly falls apart, largely due to the simple fact that they were absolutely determined to make this into a slasher film, causing the plot to devolve into a ridiculous train-wreck. This is further amplified by how poorly conceived the character of Sissy is. For one, they were absolutely determined to make her as sympathetic as possible, and thus, four of the characters who experience "misfortunes" as a result of her, all experienced them more or less by "accident." Yeah I'm sorry, but you don't just ACCIDENTALLY kill multiple people one by one in a 24 hour period. Maybe one. Maybe two in the space of a week if you're really unlucky. More than that just feels a tiny bit forced, if I may say so.
Then the questions you ask: is she crazy? Just how crazy is she? First of all, what does an insanity defence actually mean? It means you can't tell the difference between right and wrong... so she DOES know the difference between right and wrong, since she tried to cover up what she did. As a result, the character comes across very much like a psychopath who's trying really really hard to not be a psychopath... but that's not what a psychopath is. To try and not be a psychopath is to not be a psychopath.
The one interesting note I'll make here, is they did do a good job at showcasing how man is defined by his actions, especially when dealing with someone who's extremely emotionally detached (to be as favorable as I possibly can in regards to Sissy's character). I once knew a guy who came across as a really decent good guy. Then he stole 1000 bucks from a friend, just on a whim. Tons of people found out about it, and he never apologized for it or tried to make amends. Instead, he was angry over how people reacted, because he legitimately couldn't understand WHY on earth people would perceive him differently based on his actions. When you meet a psychopath it legitimately sends a chill down your spine the moment you realize what they are, and you'll be sure to keep that memory fresh for the next time you meet one. I've met 4 people like this in my adult life. Sissy reminded me of that guy, in a key moment towards the end of the film where she says "But you said I'm a good person." Again though, it's just so incongruous with the fact that she's ALSO crazy, and she ALSO wants to be liked so badly. They were trying way too hard to have it both ways, and the end result is a really poor character study.
I don't want to spoil the ending, but if I had to sum it up with one word, obnoxious would be a good one. Why? Because forensics are a thing. So are audio recordings. One ridiculous plot point after the other really puts it over the top, about as ridiculous as mistaking a blonde haired white woman, with a black woman sporting an afro. This could have been such a good movie because of the context it resides in, if they just took a step back and focused on the social aspect of the film, and/or had any real interest in making Sissy into a real person, rather than using her as a nonsensical plot device for the sole purpose of enacting one ridiculous grossed-out scene after another. Very disappointing in the end.