SXSW 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Sarah (Peyton Kennedy) is fed up with living a lie. Her following on Selfie, a selfie-sharing app, is massive, and every post she makes is greeted with unfettered adoration. But those pictures are so touched up and enhanced that one would not realize that Sarah, as she really looks, is the person behind the photo. She enlarges her lips, makes her eyes big saucers (more on that in a bit), and erases every pockmark, pimple, wrinkle, and blemish.
Her boyfriend Derek (Max Pregoni) tries to convince her not to delete the app because of what her brand means to both of them. His rather selfish advice is not taken, and Sarah deletes all of her social media apps from her phone. Later on, her phone buzzes with a new notification… from Selfie. Shortly after that, a strange, naked humanoid creature (played by both Kennedy and Dillon Duchesne), with her Selfie face attacks Sarah. Can Sarah escape the pressure to look perfect all the time unscathed? Did the app or Sarah’s anger at social media create the monster she is now fighting?
“…Sarah deletes all of her social media apps…after that, a strange, naked humanoid creature…attacks Sarah.”
There is a lot to admire in John Poliquin’s short horror film Selfie. His script, co-written by Colin Minihan, concisely and efficiently sets up Sarah, her social media status, and her frustrations with it all. Happily, the filmmakers are also wise enough to not even bother attempting to explain how the app created a demonic, killer version of Sarah’s digital alter ego. It is much creepier this way, and the ensuing battle for control over Sarah’s true identity is riveting.
Peyton Kennedy is fantastic as Sarah. Her anger at the threats of her boyfriend, and how nonchalant he is about her concerns, is palpable. As far as both Kennedy and Duchesne as the Selfie monster, they both do an excellent job. The two of them mimic the other’s movements perfectly, so I am unsure in which scenes are Kennedy or Duchesne. I think that alone indicates how good they are sharing the role.