The Sisterhood of Night

The Sisterhood of Night is a 2014 film directed by Caryn Waechter and written by Marilyn Fu based on a short story by Steven Millhauser. The film premiered at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival.[1]

The Sisterhood of Night
The Sisterhood of Night (poster).jpg
Directed byCaryn Waechter
Produced byLydia Dean Pilcher
Elizabeth Cuthrell
Screenplay byMarilyn Fu
Based onThe Sisterhood of Night
by Steven Millhauser
StarringGeorgie Henley
Kara Hayward
Kal Penn
Music byThe Crystal Method
Tobias Enhus
Production
company
Evenstar Films
Cine Mosaic
Distributed byFreestyle Releasing
Release date
  • October 2014 (2014-10) (Woodstock)[1]
  • April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)[2]
Running time
104 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

PlotEdit

The story begins in Kingston, New York where Emily Parris (Kara Hayward) decides to get back at classmate, Mary Warren (Georgie Henley), for ruining her school play audition. While Mary holds her audition, Emily steals her phone and publishes all of Mary's texts on her blog. Mary retaliates by calling Emily a "blog whore" in front of the whole school, which lands both girls a meeting with the guidance counselor, Gordy Gambhir (Kal Penn), in his office.

Later that night, Mary writes on Facebook that she will be taking a "vow of silence" and deletes her social media accounts. She forms the idea to create a "Sisterhood", and recruits classmates Catherine Huang (Willa Cuthrell) and Lavinia Hall (Olivia DeJonge) as its first members. Together, the three girls venture into the forest at night, beginning their ritual.

By the following school year, the Sisterhood has become common knowledge among school and all girls wish to join. However, no one knows what the group ritual is due to a vow of silence each member takes. New members are chosen by Mary and given a paper square as an invite. Emily, upset about being rejected, follows the girls into the woods and hides as the group ritual begins. While snapping a photo, she gets spotted by Mary.

The scene cuts to her in her bedroom, posting a new blog post. The post describes how she heard the girls chant dirty things, perform sexual acts on each other, and claims they cut her hand with a knife before molesting her. Later, Emily runs into Mary during Mass at church and makes a scene in front of everyone before fainting. However, Mary simply declares she will never be in the Sisterhood.

Mary, Catherine, Lavinia, and the rest of the Sisterhood uphold their vow of silence when parents, teachers, and reporters ask about the Sisterhood activities. Lavinia's mother, Rose, searches Lavinia's room and discovers a doll with a pentagram-like symbol drawn on it. After Lavinia returns home, she is confronted by her mother, who finds the same symbol tattooed on her stomach. Two more girls come forward and claim the Sisterhood girls molested them as well, causing more public hysteria. Emily and the two girls come up with a plan to get the fragile Lavinia to make a confession about the Sisterhood.

The same night, Mary finds herself alone while trying to avoid being caught for skipping curfew. She goes to see her boyfriend, Jeff, but he refuses to talk to her. She goes to Gambhir's house to confide in him, unaware they are being observed by Sue Parris (Jessica Hecht), Emily's mother. She snaps a picture of them and, assuming they're in a sexual relationship, sends the photo out. Mary spends the night on his couch before being awoken by her mother the following morning, who saw the photo. Gambhir is fired from his teaching job, even after he and Mary insist nothing inappropriate happened.

Feeling that things are spinning out of control, Catherine and Lavinia try to convince Mary to tell everyone the truth of the Sisterhood, but Mary promises that she'll fix it. At a small press conference, Mary tries to talk to parents and reporters to dispel the situation. Despite her efforts, Mary is unable to settle the scandal as Gambhir defends the girls.

Mary fashions the now-infamous Sisterhood paper square and gives it to Gambhir, inviting him to see their ritual. After getting Rose to come with him, they watch as the girls stand in a circle around a fire, share their personal thoughts out loud before burning pieces of paper with their written secrets. Through a montage of Sisterhood meetings, Catherine and Mary reveal their biggest secrets; Catherine misses her mother (who is implied to have cancer and getting treatment) and wishes she would die or get better, Mary wants to lose her virginity to someone she loves and Lavinia fears never being kissed.

Emily, invited to speak on a radio show about sexual abuse, begins to feel guilt and decides to pull out of her plan to ambush Lavinia with her two friends. The two girls are dismayed, deciding to go ahead with the plan without her. Emily tries to warn Lavinia, but it's too late. Lavinia has been lured into the woods by Travis, a boy she has a crush on. In the woods, Travis convinces her to take her shirt off, and she is ambushed by Emily's friends. While filming her, they hold her down while putting a witch hat on her, force her to say the Sisterhood girls are witches, and make her touch herself. They upload the video to the Internet, drug Lavinia, and take her to a Halloween party. At the party, they spread the video around while calling Lavinia cruel names. A now emotionally broken Lavinia commits suicide by overdosing on her mother's pills.

During Lavinia's funeral, Mary, knowing Lavinia's last wish was to be kissed, asks Jeff to do so out of respect. A distraught Emily confesses that she made the whole thing up. She admits how she wanted to be in the Sisterhood so badly, she was outraged when Mary rejected her and lied about their activities as revenge. She then begs for forgiveness. Emily, whose blog is revealed to be a hoax, is persecuted by those who hate her for the damage she caused. However, others focus on how she still helped sexual abuse victims despite the false pretense that made her blog popular.

Catherine shaves off her hair and finally visits her sick mother while Mary and Jeff reconcile their differences. She and Catherine decide to do a dance they had prepared for school, choreographed to Lavinia's original music, and proceed to dance through town in Lavinia's memory as local residents watch them. Emily stands nearby and Mary approaches her, giving her the Sisterhood paper square and inviting her to join their dance. Emily happily accepts and the Sisterhood girls dance down the streets of Kingston and into the woods.

The movie ends with a narrative about how the Sisterhood will continue to be a secret to outsiders and the secret will be passed down to new members and soon disappear into the darkness.

CastEdit

  • Georgie Henley as Mary Warren, the leader of the sisterhood and the main protagonist.
  • Kara Hayward as Emily Parris, a teenaged blogger and the main antagonist.
  • Kal Penn as Gordy Gambhir, a school guidance counselor.
  • Willa Cuthrell as Catherine Huang, a member of the sisterhood and one of Mary's best friends.
  • Olivia DeJonge as Lavinia Hall, a member of the sisterhood and one of Mary's best friends.
  • Laura Fraser as Rose Hall, Lavinia's mother.
  • Jessica Hecht as Sue Parris, Emily's mother
  • Orlagh Cassidy as Linda Warren, Mary's mother
  • Louis Ozawa Changchien as Stanley Huang, Catherine's father
  • Grace Gray as Kandy Kane, a sexually abused girl
  • Hudson Yang as Henry Huang, Catherine's younger brother
  • Mela Hudson as Secret Sisterhood Girl
  • Steven Millhauser as Theatre teacher (cameo)
  • Gary Wilmes as Principal Harvey
  • Deema Aitken as Travis, a cyber bully
  • Abby Quinn as Tanya

ReceptionEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 6.55/10[4] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[5]

Many critics have pointed out Georgie Henley as the strong lead in the film, citing that she has come a long way from her role as Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia. Inkoo Kang of TheWrap wrote in her review "there’s no dethroning Henley as the film’s queen bee, with the "Chronicles of Narnia" actress doing a pretty good impersonation of "Foxfire"-era Angelina Jolie: sexy but open-faced, curious but scheming, intimidating but inviting."[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL UNVEILS 2014 OFFICIAL LINE-UP OF FIERCELY INDEPENDENT FILMS". Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  2. ^ "April VOD Releases Include Lost River, The Harvest, From the Dark". Dailydead.com. April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Sisterhood of Night". Caryn Waechter. Retrieved 2015-04-12.
  4. ^ "The Sisterhood of Night (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "The Sisterhood of Night Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  6. ^ "'Sisterhood of Night' Review: Fresh Cast Helps Put a New Spin on Witches". Retrieved 13 April 2015.

External linksEdit