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

Director: John Hyams
Writers: Kevin Williamson, Katelyn Crabb
Staring: Gideon Adlon, Bethlehem Million, Dylan Sprayberry, Marc Menchaca, Jane Adams, Joel Courtney, Chris Reid
Rated: R
Release Date: January 13, 2023

This is a spoiler filled reaction. Saying that off the top. I am just going to talk my way through this movie because my emotions watching really ran crazy.

The opening 30 minutes of Sick (2023) made me angry. The aggression of the script with its COVID context and the youthful approach to it from the movie’s main character Parker Mason (Gideon Adlon) had me wrinkling my hands and begging for it to stop. The abruptness and over-earnestness of the main over-shadowing motif is on par with They/Them (2022). Sick at the start had me questioning whether or not I would be getting queasy trying to finish this movie.

*side note, I am watching Triangle Of Sadness (2022) while also jotting down my notes on Sick and I am at the dinner party scene on the yacht, which really is an all-time cringe scene but I can not look away.*

Sick is a classic teenage scream fest at the start. Parker and her best friend Miri Woodlow (Bethlehem Million) are leaving school and going to isolate at Parker’s dad’s lake house. Parker really doesn’t give two shits about COVID. She is the avatar character for those who had “end of the world” parties and didn’t give two cents about others feelings during society’s most scared stage. Her friend Miri is the responsible one, asking Parker to put on a mask because her father is immune compromised and she is going to see them soon.

These two friends represent different ends of the spectrum, but they can still enjoy each other’s company. Their drunk love-fest is interrupted when Parker’s “love interest” DJ Cole (Dylan Sprayberry) invades their space. He obviously likes her, and she sees appeal in him but is dragging him along and playing games with him. He came to the house to ask her about making out with a random guy at a college party just before she left. He asked what it is all about, and she said it was non of her business.

Two things.
1.) Turns out the make out session becomes a really big deal.
2.) This is where Sick turns the corner.

I suppose I should have mentioned that the movie starts out with the murder of a random college boy. We know nothing about the time, only that his throat gets slit. This same murderer, dressed in classic black and and ski mask, arrives at the lake house. Now, queue the horror.

This random man terrorizes these three young adults, first killing DJ as he tries to save the two young women. Then Miri gets shoved off the second story and breaks her leg. It is just Parker versus a masked killer….and she fucking bashes his brains in. Takes a vase and plays whack-a-mole for survival. It is rather brutal with a worm POV shot from the killer’s face. She survives and has a chance to save Miri. We are home free!


Sick is only halfway over at this point, and it only gets better. Turns out there is a second killer. Parker and Miri are not safe. Parker tells Miri to pretend dead so not to be caught as she tries to cross the lake to go visit her dad’s old friend to try and get help. She staves off some stabs, gets to her neighbors house….and the shotgun wielding scared isolated man who greets her gets his throat cut.

Well, that plan is foiled. The pair fight each other off until they reach a road where Parker thinks she finally has the upper hand when a car comes down the road. She gets to the passenger window of the car, and a normal looking women has the audacity to ask if Parker has a mask while she is running away from a murderer. This injection of the over-the-top COVID reference plays at this part of the movie because it is fucking hilarious. This is absurdity about masks and COVID prevention done right.

Oh, wait. Plot twist. This women in the car demanding that Parker put on a mask is actually part of the killing bergade that invaded the lake house. The mask that she gives Parker is laced with Chloroform, so our hero goes nighty-night and wakes up tied to a chair back at the same place she started.

As a man who usually enjoys predicting where movies are going, I did not have women in the car being part of the deranged murderers on my Bingo card. This genuinely surprised me.

This is where we learn about these killers. The two alive bad guys are a husband and wife, Jason (Marc Menchaca) and Pamela (Jane Adams). They have hunted down Parker to avenge their son Benji (Logan Murphy), who was the young man that Parker kissed at the end of the world party. Turns out that Parker is positive with COVID but is a symptomatic. She get Benji sick, and he died in a hospital bed. Jason and Pamela (who are named after the Friday The 13th characters) had traced down everyone who was part of getting their son sick, and Parker is the next on their list.

Kudos to Parker for pointing out that their son didn’t have a mask on at the party either. Points to her. She probably shouldn’t have said it when she was tied up and primed to be killed, but props to her for that courage.

Remember Miri? The one who broke her leg and pretended to be dead? She is back in the house now and she is desperately trying to get help. She is messaging 911 while this interrogation of Parker is happening by their captures. Despite her limping condition, Miri helps Parker escape the clutches of her chair and the two begin a final fight for survival. Classic slasher movie sensibilities take over the final 15 minutes with over-the-top kills, heroic ingenuity, and a zooming out, panning up shot as dawn creases of the horizon to end the whole damn thing.

Sick is poking fun at both ends of the COVID-19 pandemic spectrum. Parker is the I don’t give a damn persona and Benji’s killer parents are the I will shame you forever and always side. Both are rather detestable from normal society perspective. I would personally love to ask writers Kevin Williamson and Katelyn Crabb why they made the heroes of this story the young ones that don’t care. Was there a version of the script where it was the other way around? How would that have looked? Imagine a killer who didn’t believe in the seriousness of COVID that blows in the face of those they are about to kill as a taunt? Would be very silly, but also would be really funny.

Heading into Sick, I had no idea that it was written by Williamson..a constant writer for the Scream franchise. Poking fun at culture is in his blood. This time around he brought on Katelyn Crabb who was an assistant for him on Scream (2022). His ability to pen clever murders and rather inventive tension for a simple killer home invasion movie proved its merit in the second half of this streaming experience.

SIck is pretty damn fun. I will admit I went in with low expectations and had them pleasantly passed. When the credits rolled on this 83 minute adventure, I was willing to sign on the dotted line to get more movies like this. A sequel? Sure. Don’t know how you would do it, but I wouldn’t hate it. Maybe flipping the script and making the youthful college kids the murderers and have their motivation be that the adults have taken away their youthful college experience?

This is where I need to end this blog post because my brain is just whirring non-stop. Go watch Sick. It’s worth it.

STANKO RATING: B- (3.5/5 Stars)

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