The below is an advanced review out of Beyond Fest. Sick does not yet have a release date.
It’s no shock that a slasher co-written by Kevin Williamson goes as hard as Sick does. Williamson and Katelyn Crabb infect Williamson’s Scream blueprint with “COVID-19 Horror,” instigating terror while under quarantine orders. Sick is breakneck, effortlessly vicious, and leaves you gasping for air – but that’s all before the whiplash of its COVID-19 Horror twist. Director John Hyams is punctual and proficient when riffing on Scream’s Casey Becker opening death or hyping intensity during pulse-pounding chase sequences. Williamson and Crabb write knife-to-throat tension in the most straightforward formula of Scream meets Friday the 13th meets COVID-19 lockdown protocols – then the complications of coronavirus storytelling take an awkward swerve.
Pandemic timelines place Sick around April 2020, when Americans were still figuring out how to protect themselves from invisible COVID-19 droplets. College students Parker (Gideon Adlon) and Miri (Bethlehem Million) escape Petri-dish-dirty dorms to the former’s idyllic lakeside mega-cabin, with no neighbors for miles. Parker is the freer spirit who complains about wearing her ordinary white-and-blue surgical mask when symptoms aren’t showing, while Miri always straps on her much thicker custom pastel mask because she has an at-risk father she’s scared to infect. Parker swears to Miri that they’ll spend isolation having fun like their “Drink every time Fauci is mentioned on TV” rule – until not only Parker’s hookup buddy DJ (Dylan Sprayberry) invades their bubble, but an anonymous, all-black-dressed killer.