- Director: John Hyams
- Writer: Kevin Williamson, Katelyn Crabb
- Stars: Marc Menchaca, Jane Adams, Gideon Adlon, Bethlehem Million
In January of 2020, Coronavirus began creeping up on us and by March, it was the full on boogeyman of the entire world.
Unsurprisingly, the horror genre immediately found ways to embrace this new baddie, and we have been gifted with some truly inventive movies that were able to not only respect quarantine measures but also utilize our shared fear, anxiety, and anger surrounding COVID-19. Well, grab your hand sanitizer and face mask because reigning master of meta, Kevin Williamson, has officially tested positive for entering the pandemic universe.
Sick, written by Williamson and Katelyn Crabb who worked with Williamson on Scream 2022, opens on April 3, 2020 when 42 states have issued stay at home orders and 97% of the country is quarantined. Even though it’s only been a few years, it’s already surreal to look back at the state of the world in that moment: face masks, empty grocery store shelves, sanitizing your groceries…although the pandemic still endures to this day, it’s wild to see how scary it all was.
Parker (Gideon Adlon) and Miri (Bethlehem Million) are going to quarantine together at Parker’s family vacation home. College friends, Miri is a medical student which will help for various reasons later in the film, but mostly it helps her be the mouthpiece for proper pandemic behavior while Parker is a bit more loose with the guidelines. Social media, specifically Instagram is an honorary cast member who is the impetus for an uninvited guest to the home, amongst other things. Despite there only being three potential victims in a huge, isolated home, the action starts early and keeps up to the very end.
Directed by John Hyams (Alone), Sick plays out like Scream: Covid-19 Edition. Complete with a cold open, taunting people via cell phones and snarky, self aware twenty somethings, it all feels familiar: sometimes a little bit too familiar. Seriously, do Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett know about this movie and are they getting any royalties because some of these scenes are straight popup “homages” to You’re Next. My snarkiness aside, all other familiarity in the film is of the Scream variety, and to be clear, none of that is a bad thing, however, it’s impossible to speak about this movie without mentioning how much of it has been done before.
Hyams is skilled at drawing out suspense and keeping the fight scenes tight all while moving the story along nicely, unfortunately, Sick feels a couple of years too late to the pandemic horror movie party. Rob Savage was able to capitalize on both the quarantine with his film Host and then on the social fallout of differing political opinions in Dashcam. Sick would have fit jn nicely with these films, and for my money, it’s the best of the three. (Agree to disagree on the level of awesomeness of Host, but let’s all agree that Dashcam has the worst protagonist in recent memory.)
Complete with fun, inventive kills, overly intellectual characters, and a surprise
villain who has a very specific motive for killing, Sick is very much a Kevin Williamson flick but one that is neither overall inventive, scary nor particularly timely with it’s message.
Streaming on Peacock now