By Katie Small
Bloody and laced with grim satire, PIGGY is a psychologically thrilling, nail-biting tale of justice, redemption, and the vulnerability of a tormented teenager desperate to fit in.
Sara, a small town butcher’s daughter, is routinely ridiculed for her appearance by a clique of mean girls in her rural Spanish village. One summer day at the community pool, the girls take the bullying too far, nearly drowning Sara and stealing her clothes. A vigilante stranger witnesses the awful event and responds by kidnapping Sara’s tormentors in front of her.
As the town searches for the bullies, Sara says nothing. She hasn’t forgotten their cruelty and she’s intrigued by the stranger’s ambiguous intentions, at times bordering on romance. Horrific brutalities ensue and the violence only worsens the longer Sara holds her tongue. Her complex moral dilemma goes from relatable to riveting as she is forced to choose.
Writer-director Carlota Pereda adapted PIGGY from her short film of the same name. When asked in the post-premiere Q&A why she used the horror genre as a vehicle for a tale about teenage vulnerability, bullying, and fitting in, Pereda responds, “Horror lets you talk about important things in a very deep way. You are not restricted by the rules of reality — you can explore it as far as possible and really go deeper in an abstract way,” she explains.
“You can push the boundaries of what is good versus bad more than in other genres. And also, it’s so much fun!” she laughs. “Horror is so much fun. Formally, you can do anything with the camera in horror. And the horror genre community will be up for it. It’s the best community in cinema.”