2022 was a fantastic year for horror. 2023 has the potential to be just as good or even better with the slate of films coming out this year. M3gan has already been a success and has started the year on the right foot. Now we have Sick, a film that is written by Kevin Williamson that takes place during the height of the pandemic. Is it any good?
The plot is fairly simple. Two friends decide to quarantine together at a family’s lake house during the pandemic. Suddenly an unexpected visitor decides to crash their party and things turn deadly.
The film is directed by John Hyams and written by long-time Wes Craven collaborator Kevin Williamson. The movie interested me because Williamson’s last writing credit was Scream 4 all the way back in 2011. This new film seemed like a slasher and being a huge Scream fan, I was definitely looking forward to it. The movie is not a Scream film but it definitely isn’t bad.
There have been some movies already that try to tell stories that take place during the pandemic. Sick, in my opinion, does it the best. It takes us to 2020 and reminds us of the way people treated each other. It wasn’t always with love and acceptance. People were scared. They were accusatory and needed someone to blame. Watching characters argue about masks when watching the movie seems humorous until we realized that we have lived through this.
Even though this is not a Scream movie, Williamson’s writing stands out once again. The movie is very self-aware and the dialogue is meta. The beginning of the movie is a little slow as we see our characters converse about the world they live in now but once the “killer” appears, the film picks up and never lets go. The performances are all very good and everyone seems to know what kind of movie they are in.
We get a lot of classic horror tropes where characters tend to do something stupid and yell at our screen but I was actually impressed by some smart decision-making as well. I swear the number of times I yelled for people to lock their doors. Why do doors come with locks? I don’t care if you don’t have neighbors. I don’t care if you feel safe. Lock your damn doors. At the same time, there were characters using their brain and doing things like playing dead or looking for different ways to call the police and that felt nice and fresh.
The movie falls apart a bit for me during its twist reveal. The reason why the killer is doing what they are doing seems so convoluted and extreme it almost took me out of an otherwise pretty grounded film. People during the height of the pandemic were pretty extreme but extreme motives are better for a Scream movie that lives in fiction. Not a movie that revolves around something we have all lived through.
I also feel that the twist kind of hurts the characters a bit because by that point I found everyone selfish and borderline unlikable. Maybe, that was the point though. Instead of sitting down and talking out our differences, we focus on ourselves and lack accountability.
The kills are the best thing about the movie as they do not hold back. Brutal as hell as you feel every stab and every punch. The kills were shocking but also paid homage to previous horror films. I saw some references to Jason Voorhees as well as Ghostface but they were still creative enough to stand out as unique. At the end of the year, I always think of what were the best kills of the year and there is one fire stunt in this movie that will definitely stick with me for a while.
Sick is a small, fine movie. There is stuff to like here but nothing crazy that you haven’t seen before. The movie has great kills and has the best commentary I have seen on the pandemic. It is not anything extraordinary but will keep your attention for sure. It is only 1 hour and 23 minutes long and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. If Megan came out with a bang, Sick comes out with a whisper.
Sick is available to watch now on Peacock.