A bullied overweight teen witnesses her tormentors get abducted by a mysterious stranger in Carlos Pereda’s blistering slasher which delivers sharp social commentary and bloody mayhem in equal measure.
|Jul 29|| |
|Aug 02|| |
This buzzy genre outing gut-punched the Sundance crowd like a rotten pork paella left out in the Spanish sun. Expanded from Carlota Pereda’s blistering award-winning short of furious female adolescence, this similarly titled feature-length follow-up should stand as the cathartic war-cry for those who have silently suffered the cruelness of teenage bullydom.
Set during one long hot summer, Sara, a plus-sized teen, helps her parents at their butcher shop in a remote village near the Portuguese border. The local Queen Bee, Maca, refers to Sara as Piggy and spends time being obnoxious and narcissistic with her cohorts. Sneaking away for a dip in a pool, Sara is suddenly terrorised by Maca and co, leaving her to walk home traumatised and near naked. The assault hasn’t gone unnoticed and a local hulking stranger with bad intentions has plans for Maca and her meanies. Stumbling home, Sara has another toxic encounter of the masculine kind, before finally seeing her female tormenters abducted by the hulking stranger, now a twisted guardian angel to Sara. When local bodies begin to pile up like choice cuts of prime rib, Sara finds herself in a rare position of power, but knowledge becomes a two-sided blade.
A non-exploitative femme-focused freakout that comes across like some blood-soaked euro-fusion of Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl, NZIFF 2001) and Julia Ducournau (Titane, NZIFF 2021), it heralds the arrival of Pereda as a major new talent. — Ant Timpson