Being teased by others about some aspects of your personality and/or appearance is difficult enough for some people to handle and is totally horrifying when the bullying begins either from one person or a group of people. It stings even more when it involves a person that was once considered a friend but has decided to join in the taunting. In the feature film from Spain, Piggy (Cerdita) written and directed by Carlota Pereda expanded from her 2018 short of the same name, the protagonist is a plus size teenager named Sara (Laura Galán) who is expected by her parents to work in the family butcher shop business when not in school. From the onset of the film, it is noted that there are some other teens outside the shop who appear to be the “cool” kids and most likely from more affluent families than Sara’s. Although they do not mock Sara in front of her family at the shop, they ridicule the family by posting a photo of the parents and Sara in the shop to social media with a derogatory comment about their weight.
In Pereda’s film, do not expect this horror/drama film to have a “beast” invading the community and killing the townsfolk one at a time. In this story, the “monsters” are humans who are very inhumane, including an unknown stranger who appears out of nowhere and seems to select his victims at random before disposing of them.
Sara is bullied and harassed by three blond teen girls about her weight. They are Maca (Claudia Salas), Roci (Camille Aguilar), and Claudia (Irene Ferreiro), Sara’s former friend. The nastiness was limited at first to verbal abuse and then increases when Sara is in the pool and endanger her to the point of almost drowning when they thought no one was watching. The stranger in town (played by Richard Holmes) observed the shenanigans and takes it upon himself to take out Sara’s tormentors. When Sara accidentally runs into the trio of girls being kidnapped in a van, the stranger shows compassion and tosses Sara a towel to cover up with as she walks back to town in a bikini after the girls had stolen her personal belongings. Soon after, Sara and community find out the pool’s lifeguard and a waitress are dead, throwing the small-town residents in a frenzy and investigators begin the questioning.
Sara also has issues at home with a strict mother who almost always screams at her for one reason or another. The mistreatment and verbal abuse have impacted her to the point of believing she can’t do anything right. When she receives the bit of attention or compassion from the stranger, she has feelings that she has not encountered before and lead her to the dilemma of what to say/do regarding the girls.
Galán’s performance is superb as Sara showing the audience her character’s feelings from joy to fear and in between. Galán does not always use words to convey these feelings, as she effectively uses plenty of non-verbal techniques to do so. As the anxiety in town increases because of the missing girls and the stranger’s violence changes focus on her family members, and sees where two of the three girls are being kept, Sara’s emotions hit a point of blowing up finds herself acting out. The ending may be unexpected by some audience members and hard to watch as her rage is on full display.
Piggy is the winner of the Best Picture in Horror at Fantastic Fest in Austin last week.
The film will open exclusively at Alamo Drafthouse theaters on October 7 before being available theatrically and VOD October 14.
The film is 90 minutes long and is in Spanish with English subtitles.
Source: Distributor: Magnet Releasing