All the piggies go ‘squee squee’ when the murderer comes to call
Piggy is a visceral stab of horror for me from the opening moment seeing how the sausage is made in more than one way. Carlotta Pereda is the writer/director of the new film that started as a short (that I haven’t seen but want to very much) about how bullying has many shades from mother (Carmen Machi) to ex-‘friend’ and a town that ostracizes and harasses a fat teen girl. This is one of my favorite films of 2022!
Carlotta takes a suspense film and layers horror that builds and builds till you are not sure who to cheer for as it dances on a thin line of horror with moments of sexual tension and very dark humor.
Sara (Laura Galán) is the target of a trio of mean girls Maca (Claudia Salas) the ringleader, Roci (Camille Aguilar) the follower, and Claudia (Irene Ferreiro) a former friend and neighbor who bully online and IRL with the name ‘Piggy’ (because her family has a butcher shop AND she’s fat). It’s all fun and games till they picked the wrong day to F around when a stranger (Richard Holmes) at the pool witnesses them torturing her after he spent the day swimming with the rude staff. Sara tries to flee the physical and verbal abuse in the murky water missing a clue of what is to come over the next few days. The sleepy town has missing people, death, and someone who finally notices her in a ‘nonnegative’ way (sort of). Who hasn’t wanted a hero to defend you from bullies and it has her feeling confused?
Sara may not have emerged from the cocoon looking like a svelte butterfly but she still has hormones and the internet! She may not have a cute neighborhood boy offering rides on his Vespa but she does have someone waiting in the shadows.
Sara isn’t the girl you normally see as the star instead she looks like her family a bit rotund and fades in the background when compared to other girls in town. Its what really makes the film standout to me from the carefully crafted background that offers clues for those with sharp eyes (or who saw it twice), to the shadowy murderer that has an uncanny ability to be unnoticeable, and the ease of it being normal to bully and other someone who doesn’t look like them.
Carlotta’s horror isn’t gushy or has gratuitous shots caressing the girl’s bodies. She uses quick cutaway shots to insinuate the violence just out of the corner of the viewer’s eyes (on behalf of those who are squeamish .. thank you!). The film spoke to the chunky teen me that tried to fade and hide because of my differences hoping not to be noticed.
Watching ‘Piggy’ it didn’t need subtitles to get the story across to viewers because Carlotta’s thoughtful writing and directing made the story connect with the talented cast and a relatable story for anyone who has been othered.
It truly made me think about the story and how eventually most people will strike back. The final question for me is what would you do with information about people who’ve tortured you? Would you help them? Would you tell someone and talk about how they treated you? Or would you keep your head down and just try to ignore the screams?
Cherry at the movies review of ‘Piggy’ teen girls worst fear horror movie that will have you guessing the true bad guy.
Running Time: 98 minutes
(Original title: “Cerdita”)
Production: A Morena Films production in coproduction with Backup Studio, Cerdita Aie. (World sales: Charades, Paris.) Producer: Merry Colomer. Executive producer: Pilar Benito. Co-producers: David Atlan-Jackson, Jean-Baptiste Babin, Joel Thibout.
Crew: Director, screenplay: Carlota Pereda. Camera: Rita Noriega. Editor: David Pelegrín. Music: Olivier Arson.
With: Laura Galán, Richard Holmes, Carmen Machi, Irene Ferreiro, Camille Aguilar, Jose Pastor, Pilar Castro, Fernando Delgado-Hierro, Claudia Salas.