"Everything that happens here stays between the three of us. You have my vow of silence."
This is just a simple movie. The kind that gets the label "weekend movie" pinned on. Not that it was so bad, but it wasn't impressive stuff either. It's a contemporary sketch of how a seemingly innocuous post on a blog can start an unprecedented smear campaign, in which the allegations take disproportionate forms. Before you know it terms such as occult sect and lesbian sex-goddesses are abundantly being used. In the end it's just a circle of close friends. A bunch of teen girls jumping around in the woods at night, sharing their deepest secrets with each other. Of course the biased and gullible inhabitants of Kingston resolutely interpret this in a whole different way. It looks like a modern version of medieval witch tribunals.
It's all about Mary Warren (Georgie Henley), a charismatic girl who decides to wrap herself in the sound of silence after a collision with fellow student Emily Parris (Kara Hayward). Together with two other girlfriends Catherine (Willa Cuthrell) and Lavinia (Olivia DeJonge) she forms "The sisterhood". A mysterious and secret covenant you can only join through a personal invitation. This little groups obtains over time a renowned reputation, with the result that almost all teens crave to receive an invitation. Likewise, the jealous Parris, a blog writer without any followers (except herself). The day she makes up a shocking story about "The Sisterhood" and posts this on her blog, her virtual reputation increases and gets a multitude of followers, while the reputation of the secret alliance goes in the wrong direction. However, the members abide by their oath they've made, which feels as if they plead guilty.
At first sight you might assume there's indeed something occult going on. The way Mary gazes sometimes, looks kind of demonic. And yet it's no horror. It's a successful portrait of how unfounded allegations take on a life of their own, leading to a hysterical reaction of parents and other residents. Turns out later the end result is tragic. It's creepy to see how much influence social media have nowadays and how teenagers deal with this. Willingly and unwillingly. The moment the members of the secret club distance themselves from these modern media, they are suddenly seen as otherworldly.
No horror, but a film about misunderstandings and misunderstood teenagers with their own individual and family problems, who are looking for a place in society. "The sisterhood of the night" is an average movie that rises barely above average. It's not the acting, because this wasn't so bad. Maybe it was because the acting felt unnatural and far fetched sometimes. Especially the two protagonists Henley and Hayward. I had the impression they really did their best to play the "bitch". The most successful part (but also a limited one) was provided by Kal Penn as the guidance counselor Gordy Gambhir, who tries to persuade the girls to confess everything and ultimately draws the short stick. Personally I thought the gesture of reconciliation at the end of this sluggish film, was a bit exaggerated.
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