The COVID-19 pandemic was a very unfamiliar phenomenon. The respiratory virus swept across the globe, and quickly became a political point. It also became a thing centered around a lot of mediums – music, film, television, print, etc. Even attempting to avoid the virus became political, and people even said the virus was fake. In John Hyams’ Sick, the fear, panic, and hysteria around the virus are the central focus.
Sick focuses on Parker (Gideon Adlon) who is taking a vacation to quarantine with her friend Miri (Bethlehem Million) in her parent’s cabin in the woods. They are accompanied by Parker’s other friend DJ (Dylan Sprayberry), who is unwanted this particular weekend. While Miri is very concerned about catching COVID, Parker is not and neither is DJ. During this weekend, the girls and DJ are having fun and relaxing. After their nighttime festivities, they all go to sleep and wake up to a stranger in their home. Things go crazy as they try to avoid the killer, survive the night, and figure out why they are being hunted.
Sick is a well-crafted horror/thriller. From beginning to end, it just has really good moments. Kevin Williamson gets help from Katelyn Crabb on the script. It’s very tight and put together considering that it takes place in one big location. Williamson took his great ability to create anxiety and used it well here. Even though the reveal was outrageous, it works extremely well. This is probably one of the best films involving COVID in the last three years. While the film slows down in moments, it otherwise has strong pacing.
Hyams deserves praise for how he handled this film. There’s a way to make sure you balance everything and he pulled it off. Sick takes a serious and real situation and turns it into an extremely ridiculous but good film. I am not a fan of most films and TV shows centered around COVID-19. However, Sick turned me into a fan of this particular scenario. Hyams does a great job of making sure this film encapsulated everything going on in the real world while creating this situation.
The cinematography from Yaron Levy is the best thing about this film. Each shot, camera movement, and how it helps you navigate each area of the cabin/lake is fun. You feel like you’re a part of this quarantine horror film. Nima Fakhara’s score creates tension and anxiety, they stick to a pretty simple orchestra style, but it works so well. The score for Sick is eerie and creepy. I enjoy how well the cinematography and score mesh together to make the audience feel uneasy.
Adlon’s acting in this film is really good. For this to be a pretty low-budget streaming service horror film, she definitely gives this performance her all. She has my vote as a future scream queen in a horror franchise if she wants it. Sprayberry and Million are great cast members, the trio works very well together. Marc Menchaca, Jane Adams, and Chris Reid also give some decent performances, they really tapped into how some people acted during quarantine.
My favorite thing about Sick was how they created an actual believable scenario. Whether or not you agree with how the public handled COVID, this was very accurate. There were people that didn’t care, there were people who thought the world was ending, and there were sane people that understand how viruses work. There were also people that thought the government was using COVID-19 to do some sinister stuff, but they don’t matter in this equation.
Sick was focused on creating a real-life scenario and pulled it off in a way I didn’t see coming until it actually arrived. It’s reminiscent of Scream in the way it handles its sarcasm. Williamson has a knack for throwing jokes and unserious banter into his horror films, and Sick used that extremely well. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rating – 8/10
Sick is currently streaming on Peacock!