Sick (2022) Horror Movie Review - Decent Slasher from Scream's John Hyams and Kevin Williamson

Horror, Slasher | 83 Min
Cover image from the horror movie Sick (2022)
  • Director: John Hyams
  • Actors: Gideon Adlon, Beth Million, Dylan Sprayberry, Joel Courtney, Marc Menchaca, Jane Adams
  • Writers: Kevin Williamson, Katelyn Crabb
  • Producers: Kevin Williamson, Bill Block, Ben Fast
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Parental: Violence, Language
  • Horror, Slasher | 83 Min

Due to the pandemic Parker and her best friend decide to quarantine at the family lake house alone - or so they think.

Welcome to Knockout Horror. Today we are reviewing the slasher movie Sick from Scream’s writer and creator Kevin Williamson and director John Hyams. I actually meant to review this movie a long time ago. It just totally slipped my mind. It seems to find its way into a ton of horror movie lists so I thought I would put together a quick review in case we ever feature it in our Knockout Horror list section. This movie comes to you by way of Peacock and Blumhouse productions and while most of their movies are utter arse wipe, Sick is the rare exception.

Pandemic Slasher Fun

Sick follows the story of friends Parker (Gideon Adlon) and Miri (Beth Million) who are spending the weekend quarantining together at Parker’s family lake house. A surprise visit by DJ (Dylan Sprayberry), Parker’s boyfriend, is the least of the pair’s concerns. With the weekend quickly descending into chaos as the group are stalked by someone, seemingly, wishing to do them harm. But what is the “would be” killer’s motive?

A screenshot from the horror movie Sick (2022)

If this movie feels familiar, that’s because it was put together by the team behind the Scream movies. Once you push past the rather milquetoast opening and dull preamble. It becomes very clear where Sick’s pedigree lies. This is a traditional, late 90’s style, slasher movie. Everything you might expect is here from shadows seen in the corners of eyes to the chase scenes through a darkened house. It is high stakes, cat and mouse, horror from the mid point on.

Action extends into a vast outdoor environment surrounding the house as the characters battle reason after reason to be dragged back inside. You’ve seen it all before and for anyone familiar with some of the slashers of this era (Urban Legend, I Know What You Did Last Summer, et al), Sick will feel like slipping on a familiar cosy jumper. Albeit one soaked with blood and shredded to pieces by a knife wielding maniac.

Fun, Familiar, Slasher Thrills

For the most part, it works quite well. This is a simple formula and it is difficult to mess it up. Some of the suspense is quite satisfying and the use of darkness and shadows works well to create some serious tension. Sick feels much like an old friend. It’s a type of horror movie that disappeared for awhile but is now back and bigger than ever. Against a slew of new Scream movies and a possible I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel, Sick slots in nicely. It is tense, high octane and doesn’t let up once it gets going.

A screenshot from the horror movie Sick (2022)

Something that Scream did so well was the creation of an iconic villain motivated by something, somewhat, unexpected. The reveal at the end of Scream is a genuinely classic horror moment and was, at the time, rather surprising. Sick aims to do the same thing. Eshewing the nameless, faceless, shape style slasher movie villain in favour of a villain with a concrete motivation and an actual backstory. Turning the characters being stalked into not just simple victims but a part of a much bigger picture.

Whereas the villain’s motivation feel timely against a backdrop of recent events in the real world. It also feels like something that will age the movie tremendously in time and also feels just that little bit silly. Sick is destined to become something of a time capsule and I am not sure whether that is a good thing or not. Still, it makes a change from the low effort “bad person does bad things because they are bad” nature of a lot of slashers so I give it credit in that respect. Let’s just say that it may surprise a few people and may cause an eye roll here or there.

Not All Positive 

On the more negative side. I found the characters here extremely unlikable. Parker and Miri are fairly obnoxious and difficult to care for. Making it hard to invest in their situation. The backstory at the heart of the movie is a little bit ridiculous. Sick often goes to the near empty well of horror clich√©. Ticking just about every box possible when it comes to the usual slasher tropes. If you don’t like these types of movies, as it is, Sick will not be the movie to change your mind.

A screenshot from the horror movie Sick (2022)

Acting is okay despite the characters not being immediately likable. Cinematography is decent and the crew’s experience is on full show when it comes to putting together effective slasher set pieces. Some of the hand held camera shots add a nice layer of additional tension. Pacing is fine, the action gets going pretty quick and there are enough scares to keep you interested. The movie races by at a scant 83 minutes so there’s no time to smell the roses. Again, don’t expect too much innovation but what is here works really well. There aren’t too many surprises outside of the twist plot and the movie is ruthlessly predictable, as is fairly traditional for slasher movies. All in all, though, not too bad at all.

Should You Watch Sick?

Asking whether you should watch Sick if you want a slasher is a bit like asking whether you should drink Pepsi if you want Cola? It’s not Coke and there are better options but Pepsi will scratch the itch. Sick is a straight forward 90’s style slasher made by a team with a decent pedigree. It doesn’t do anything new, it’s a bit “by the numbers” and predictable as well as being a little silly in parts. But if a slasher is what you want you could do a hell of a lot worse. Give it a try, I am sure you won’t hate it and may even really enjoy it.

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