Monday, March 13, 2023

I Know What You (COV)DID Last Summer


Having found Sick pretty mediocre, I wasn't sure if I would actually write about it. Then I realized I had a good post title and now, well, here we are.

Quick Plot: It's April 2020, that magical time in recent history when we finally realized the severity of the coronavirus and accepted that life would, for the immediate future, be very, very different. This is especially true for young college student Tyler, who worries about hand sanitizer during his tense foray for groceries only to come home and be murdered by a mysterious masked man with a grudge.

Separately, his classmates Parker and Miri are heading to Parker's perfectly remote and sprawling country retreat to wait out the rest of lockdown (you sweet summer children you). Before you can identify anything about these girls that makes them interesting, the aforementioned stabber has found them, and this time, he's not alone.

Director John Hyams comes with a whole lot of experience directing horror television (including the delightful Chucky). Working with a script from Scream creator Kevin Williamson and Katelyn Crabb, he certainly seems to understand the basics of crafting a small stakes slasher, wisely keeping a brisk running time under 90 minutes.

I just wish I cared.

It's possible that I've officially passed into the grumpy old lady phase of horror movie reactions. I watched Sick a few days after turning one year older, and very quickly found myself grumbling about the fact that I had to Google new teen text acronyms. Like the most recent Scream (or Scream V, for those of us still bewildered as to this series' naming convention), I found myself distracted by just how much these characters did absolutely nothing for me. I didn't particularly like them, and the film's big reveal does nothing to help that. More importantly, I didn't find them interesting.

Now before you become unable to picture as anything other than the female Abe Simpson (I hate onions and would never wear one on my belt, even if it WAS the style at the time) please believe me when I say I like young people! I'm inspired by Gen-Z! They're inheriting the world at its very worst and seem far more ready and willing to make it better.

Parker and Miri, though, just exist, in the same way that the fairly bland protagonists of, say, Graduation Day or Edge of the Axe exist. Not every slasher needs a Gale Weathers or Tommy Jarvis, but when the story is so lean and the action is good but not great, it helps to have something to put your hook in.

High Points
I'm sure it's a moment that's already been heavily meme'd, but yes, the "where's your mask?" qualifier amid chaos is worth a chuckle

Low Points
Without spoiling the third act reveal, the calendar math in every direction is pretty unforgivably flawed

Lessons Learned
The lights on your router illuminate when you send email (did everyone know that but me? Is that a real thing? HOW OLD AM I?)

Cling wrap is a broken leg's best friend

The best way to protect yourself in a home invasion is to keep your counter fully stocked with potential projectiles

I was left pretty underwhelmed by Sick, but it's perfectly adequate if you're just looking to land on a new slasher. Find it on Peacock if you care. 

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