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By Michael Talbot-Haynes | February 7, 2023

NOW ON PEACOCK! Nothing gets well quickly in the COVID lockdown stab fest Sick, directed by John Hyams. The film, set in April 2020 right during the lockdown, begins with college-age Tyler (Joel Courtney) getting back to his dorm and disinfecting his groceries. Shortly after returning home, he receives a spooky, anonymous text message. Then a figure in black with his eyes clearly visible chases Tyler around with a knife. Guess that happens.

The story then focuses on the main characters, Parker (Gideon Adlon) and Miri (Bethlehem Million). They’re masked up and heading to Parker’s lakeside family cabin to spend the lockdown together. The house turns out to be a multi-story woodland mansion, which Miri declares is “totally sick.” While in swimsuits on the dock of the lake, Parker gets an anonymous text message that seems kind of spooky. Guess what happens.

“…receives a spooky, anonymous text message. Then a figure in black with his eyes clearly visible chases Tyler…”

All expectations one might have concerning Sick orbit around producer/writer Kevin Williamson, who co-wrote the script with Katelyn Crabb, his assistant during the latest Scream. Williamson was the screenwriter who, in the 1990s, added some smarts to the staggeringly dumb slasher genre with the original Scream. Since then, he’s had ups and downs but has succeeded in his ambitious goals from time to time. So it is this reputation as an innovator that Williamson brings to this production, with an unspoken promise to further evolve the slasher concept.

Unfortunately, Williamson lazily executes a remake of Blood Shack, just with a better shack. We are treated to the same lame all-black outfit for the killer with a woolen hat and turtleneck pulled high, so only the eyes are exposed. When cult director Ray Dennis Steckler had Ron Haydock running around wearing that get-up in 1971, it was enough to help brand that cult film as one of the worst horror movies ever made. And this isn’t even as good as that, which boggles the imagination.

Sick (2022)

Directed: John Hyams

Written: Kevin Williamson, Katelyn Crabb

Starring: Gideon Adlon, Bethlehem Million, Joel Courtney, etc.

Movie score: 4/10

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"…Williamson decisively proves that breaking all the rules sometimes breaks the movie."

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