Carlota Pereda‘s Piggy created a horror movie where the big girl was not the side character, the first one to die, or a flat character at the heart of every joke. Instead, she managed to write and direct a movie where a young woman like me (yes, I’m fat, big, fluffy, etc.) drove the story forward in a meaningful way that terrified you while making you feel for her as the “final girl.” Seriously, I felt for her so much that by the end of it I didn’t blame her for the actions she took or how she got there. That’s when you know a creator did something right and has a hit in their hands.
Laura Galán played Sara, the young woman at the heart of Piggy. She also played her in the short film named Cerdita, which came out in 2018 and was directed and written by Pereda as well. Piggy is an expanded version of that short film that really dived into who Sara was, what trauma she was dealing with inside the home and outside of it, and how she took control of her life while toeing the line of a darkness that is buried deep inside of all of us. Because none of us could be certain of what we would do if faced with the circumstances Sara had to face.
Without giving too much away, Sara is a young woman who is on the bigger side. There’s no use toeing around that fact. She’s bigger and the people of her small town, especially her peers, make fun of her for that while her family is ignorant of the fact altogether. It all comes to a head when Sara is walking home, distraught after the latest encounter where these bullies almost drowned her, to see that they have been kidnapped by a mysterious person in a van. And when they beg for help…Sara basically just waves at them.
At first, I’m not going to lie, I wanted Sara to give into this darkness that burst forward from this moment and which sets her on a path to crash into the killer of this story. Horror movies are a way to process the things in life that we can’t really give into in the day to day of life. And personally, I’ve experienced the pain of being othered or made fun of because of my weight and appearance. So my darkness called out to Sara’s while watching Piggy. And as I watched, I thought that this movie would spiral hardcore, leading to the bloody poster we know this movie for.
Piggy, Pereda, and Galán thankfully went against that trail of thought and gave us something wholly original that made it so Sara stood up for herself on her own terms without giving into the darkness. If anything, I think Sara looked at the darkness, fell in love with it a little, and decided, “You don’t have control over me. I have control over you.” And when that darkness fought back, Sara wrestled it into submission, cementing herself as the final girl of Piggy and not the flat side character that women like her have had to, unfortunately, stay stuck in for ages.
My hope is that movies like Piggy inspire creators to think outside of the box and past the stereotypes. That’s when unique content is born that tests us, what we believe in, and far we’d go if we were in the same situation. Because personally, I’m tired of the mundane when it comes to stories in films nowadays. I want to be challenged. And yes, movies like Piggy prove that you can do that in horror and do a damn good job at the same time. I also hope to see more Galán, who was an absolute presence that made me feel seen in a way I have never felt before.
Piggy is available in select theaters now and arrives October 14, 2022 on VOD.