Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Sisterhood of Night (2014)


Number Rolled: 81
Movie Name/Year: The Sisterhood of Night (2014)
Tagline: The Salem witch trials remixed…
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 102 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Cine Mosaic, Deep Forest Productions, Evenstar Films, Galatafilm
Producer: Taha Altayli, Paula M. Bass, Elizabeth Cuthrell, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Marilyn Fu, Muharrem Gulmez, Steven Tuttleman, David Urrutia, Caryn Waechter
Director: Caryn Waechter
Writer: Marilyn Fu, Steven Millhauser
Actors: Georgie Henley, Kara Hayward, Willa Cuthrell, Olivia DeJonge, Kal Penn, Laura Fraser, Gary Wilmes, Neal Huff, Hudson Yang, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Morgan Turner, Juliana Sass, Evan Kuzma, Orlagh Cassidy, Deema Aitken, Harry L. Seddon, David Chen, Annie Creech, Grace Gray, Jessica Hecht, Lily Autumn Page
Stunt Doubles: None

Blurb from Netflix: Three teenagers become the targets of a modern-day Salem witch trial after they are accused of being part of the sinister secret network.


Selina’s Point of View:
This movie hit just a little close to home for me. It focused on misunderstandings and bullying and the way it affects young girls.

In my last article, on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), I mentioned that I had some bad thoughts in Junior High School. The kind of thoughts that would have been permanent and heartbreaking to act out. These weren’t thoughts that just randomly occurred to me. Circumstances put them in my head. My world felt wrong, and the bullies made it feel even worse.

Puberty is a hard time for anyone. Your body changes, your mind changes, what the world expects from you changes, even what you expect from yourself changes. When you start factoring the kind of situations that adults go through into that time, you have a recipe for disaster.

Facebook allows us to connect with our past. Recently, someone from Junior High School tagged a class picture that had all of us in it. As a result, a lot of re-connections have happened… but I don’t know what to say to them – any of them. I remember who was a big part of the problem and who just sat back and watched it happen with laughter on their lips, but it’s been decades. I don’t want anything from those people anymore. So, what do I say to them?

This film makes it all sink a little further in. I’m much better now than I was then, but it took a lot of therapy to get here. Back when the rumors were flying and I was just trying to find reasons to make it to the next day, those people – all of them – were the bane of my existence. I stopped going to class to get away from it all.


My life would have been different if those two hellish years of school had just been mildly better.

I didn’t think I’d connect this deeply to The Sisterhood of Night. I’ve never had a group of girls that I’ve been close to like that (until recently with an RP group). I had a group of female friends when I started Junior High, but they became the source of the rumors and by the time I left, I was cursing their names.

Much like that situation, by the time this film was over, I was so invested that it led to about an hour of quiet contemplation.

It was a good film. I likely won’t watch it again simple because of the level I connected with it, but it was still very good.

I urge everyone who has teenagers to let their kids watch films like these. Teach them the effects of bullying, what to do if they’re the target, and what to do if they observe someone else being targeted. Tragedies can be avoided with the right training and observation.

If you, or your child, are in crisis… seek help. No one should have to go through anything alone.

Below Cat’s review, you can find several crisis hotline phone numbers. If you need help, please refer to the list.


Cat’s Point of View:
I’m back! My daughter and I are home from our whirlwind Girl Scout trip to Houston this past weekend. (NASA, amusement parks, and stingrays, oh my!) We had a lot of (exhausting) fun. I am, however, glad to be home and getting into the swing of things again.

I was a bit intrigued at the outset, after reading the premise of The Sisterhood of Night. I’ve always been interested in the time period of the Salem Witch Trials. It’s a bit of morbid fascination, but I’m also a firm believer that those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. There are so many lessons to take away from those events - on both a personal and broader social scale.

Bullying is certainly not a concept new to our era – we just now have more technological means for the mean-spirited and misguided to utilize. This movie spins a modern take on events similar to what happened at Salem. There are even some strong character name parallels used with the characters of Sarah, Mary Warren, and E. Parris.


I haven’t read the short story, written by Steven Millhauser (The Illusionist), which the film was based on; though I am now interested in delving into it in search of other pieces of that puzzle. The author actually had a cameo role in the movie as a faculty member at the school the teen characters attend.

This movie is the only credit for the screenwriter, Marilyn Fu. I’ve got to say that she and director, Caryn Waechter (Girl's Guide with Michelle Phan, God Is Good, Beat), came out of nowhere and blew me away. My takeaway here? Wow.

To put it simply, this movie is profound on so many levels. It likely struck a deeper cord with me because of my own history with being bullied. At the same time, I know the siren song of wanting to fit in with the ‘cool kids’ and the temptation to do ill-advised things to garner entry into their circle.

While the movie’s moniker revolves around the darkness, there is also light. This story is moving and powerful but not as heavy as you would imagine. The mockumentary approach was also a nice touch.

I would certainly recommend this film in a heartbeat, and plan to watch it again with my daughter soon.


Languages
Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 67%
Metascore - 60/100
Metacritic User Score – 8.2/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4.5/5

Crisis Hotlines:

United States: 1-800-273-8255
Germany: 0800 1110 111
Russia: (7) 0942 224 621
France: 01 45 39 40 00
Ireland: 116 123
United Kingdom: 0800 068 41 41
Brazil: 141
Canada: 778-783-0177
Italy: 112
Slovakia: 0800 – 112 112
Australia: 08 9381 5555

If your place of residence is not listed, you can find a hotline to call at this site: http://www.suicidestop.com/call_a_hotline.html

Movie Trailer:

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