We’re having a Free for All this month because Melanie Lynskey Month was so inspired, how do you follow immediately on from that? Plus, we’re lazy, what of it?
To this week’s pick which I will say was rather an interesting one!
The Sisterhood of Night (2014)
When a teenage girl says she’s the victim of a secret network called The Sisterhood of Night, a quiet suburban town becomes the backdrop for a modern-day Salem witch trial.
Ah teenage girls. Thank fuck I never have to be one again. Though, I wonder, had I been a teen in this movie, would I have made it into the Sisterhood? I’m pretty sure not.
Mary Warren (Georgie Henley) is kind of a big deal (or so she believes) at her high school and enjoys a rivalry with good girl Emily Parris (Kara Hayward from Moonrise Kingdom). Things come to a head on the day Mary steals Emily’s thunder at a drama rehearsal and Emily, in turn, steals Mary’s phone and publishes her private texts online, on her own blog. The blog has ‘rainbow’ in the title, that’s all I remember.
To get her back Mary accuses Emily of being a ‘blog whore’ which I don’t really understand but never mind. Emily embarrasses herself by not knowing how to properly pronounce ‘whore’. (The W is silent, dear).
Shortly afterwards, Mary posts a mysterious (yet attention seeking) Facebook status saying she is taking a vow of silence. She then deletes all her social media. You ok, hun?
She doesn’t disappear altogether though, unfortunately as we soon learn she’s set up something called the Sisterhood and has enlisted her first members, Catherine Huang (Willa Cuthrell) and Lavinia Hall (Olivia DeJonge). The girls hold a meeting during a school dance and Catherine shares a deep dark secret with the others. The vow of silence forbids the girls from ever sharing each other’s secrets or talking about the Sisterhood to anybody outside the Sisterhood.
Word quickly spreads and Mary’s school mates become obsessed with the Sisterhood. This is only exacerbated by the silence surrounding them. And like all good bandwagons, everyone wants in – nobody more than blog whore Emily. Members are personally picked by Mary though, so she’s shit out of luck.
Emily blows her chances by being a Class A dickhead so she has no choice but to use nefarious means to find out what the fuck’s really going on. She gatecrashes a night-time meeting (all Sisterhood meetings are held after dark) and well, after that let’s just say things escalate quickly.
Emily takes to her blog and publishes tales of dirty chants, girls touching themselves and each other – before claiming they cut her hand and touched her too.
This sets off a bizarre chain of events as a couple of other girls come forward with similar stories about the Sisterhood, and the vow of silence doesn’t help clear things up. Especially as Mary doesn’t hate the drama.
I’m not going to go through every side story and detail but know that each of the girls has their own personal struggle to contend with. Lavinia has a mother who’s just started dating, much to her horror; Catherine’s mother is terminally ill and Mary has a secret boyfriend who’s not crazy about the creeping around. As a result the trio are in regular meetings with the school’s guidance councilor, Gordy (Harold & Kumar‘s Kal Penn!) who is adorable and harboring a crush on Lavinia’s mother, Rose (Laura Fraser).
The school grapevine leads us, and our central protagonists, into some dark territory as the hysteria rises and gossip spreads like wildfire. Some of the girls want to break the code in order to stop the rumours once and for all but Mary says she’s got it all in hand.
Meanwhile, Emily’s blog is overwhelmed by girls coming forward about their own experiences of sexual abuse and becomes a safe place for them to talk about their feelings as a result. Emily starts to grow as a person and feels bad for having hatched a horrible plan to get Lavinia to admit that the girls are the satanic worshipping witches everyone thinks they are. (Involving some cheerleaders, but of course and a boy Lavinia has the hots for).
Emily calls Lavinia to warn her but does she make it in time? While we’re asking questions: What is the Sisterhood anyway? And what is the truth about that night with Emily in the woods?
Well, that’s it from me. I think this is quite an interesting film and I’m glad I’ve seen it. The comments it makes about how quickly a mystery can write itself if you court it is intriguing, and the film isn’t scared to examine real life issues that young girls actually go through.
It touches upon teenage sexuality in a non-gratuitous way and I find that quite impressive. The girls themselves seem like actual real girls too and I think that went some way to pulling me in and keeping my attention. Ultimately, it ends in a positive way which I wasn’t unhappy about.
Hey, if you’re a fan of high school movies or teen dramas, this might very well be the film for you. You could do a lot worse.
3.5/5. Not bad.
How does my blog wife think about this? Would she enlist it into the Sisterhood or make bitchy comments about it online? Find out here.