Give Kevin Williamson Credit: The Screenwriter behind Yell Serie he’s not afraid to recycle his greatest hits. His new addition to the slasher movie canon begins with a young man named Tyler (Joel Courtney) wandering the aisles of an empty supermarket. It is April 3, 2020. COVID-19-19 boxes are increasing exponentially. Most of the country is in full lockdown mode. Everyone is masked. Forget about finding toilet paper.
While looking for some essentials for a shelter-in-place, Tyler receives a text: “Do you want to party?” He has no idea who is asking. Later, as he is leaving, the same person sends a text again (“Nice Ass”), along with a photo. The text comes from inside the building, but good luck trying to identify a potential homicidal maniac behind a sea of masked faces. When Tyler gets home, he continues to receive spooky messages as he moves through his apartment…until he notices, reflected in his TV screen, a figure dressed in black holding a knife. hunt. Fight. Hunter. Get away. Momentary feeling of being out of danger. Surprise staff. Dead.
Yes this it does Sounds familiar, though keen, casual, and/or incredibly stoned viewers will notice some major differences from the iconic prologue that opens Williamson’s 1996 meta-game.awful Masterpiece. First, the celebrity victim is a guy, though for fans of The kissing booth movies, his early departure will be as painful as Drew Barrymore’s bloody office. Second, you mostly get text messages instead of constant phone calls, due to technology. And third: there’s a theme ripped from yesterday’s headlines in the mix. Sick has the distinction of being one of the first, if not tea first, slasher movies to make the most of our collective 2020 experience of seeing “normal” go out the window, to meld the vulnerability we all felt in those early days of the pandemic With the predatory fears of a killer on the loose. It may not be very wink-nudge, though, the vibe remains: What if yell, covid target?
That’s the big distinguishing factor about this terrifying movie, which starts airing on Peacock on January 13, which is actually a Friday, and if you’re willing to sit through an inventory of old teens and horror in a-brown from the lake house in the name of Covidsploitation curiosity, do it. Our two heroes are Parker (blockers‘ Gideon Adlon) and Mari (Bethlehem Million), both college students who are quarantined together in a remote, posh cabin owned by the former’s father. The unexpected arrival of Parker’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, DJ (Dylan Sprayberry), complicates things a bit, especially since he’s angered by an Instagram post detailing that she hooked up at a recent party with another guy. Meanwhile, she receives some mysterious and aggressive text messages from an unknown person. And he wait a sec, isn’t he the same masked assassin we saw earlier, only he’s now lurking around the lake house…?
Until we get to a third-act twist (more on that, spoiler-free, in a second), director John Hyams, Williamson, and co-writer Katelyn Crabb treat us to a perfectly functional, if predictable, horror scenario. . Cat with a knife and other sharp implements goes after school mice, in other words; the mice scurry away, but the cat still has tricks up its sleeve. Rinse, repeat it. Adlon and Million pull off a solid girls final double act. Never doubt the effective power of an unexpected slit, or creative impalement, or how a placid rural setting can suddenly turn sinister and terrifying after the sun goes down. Really, who doesn’t love a good table spin fake or three?
you could almost forget that Sick it takes place during the beginning of the pandemic, until the film reveals its ending, at which point he either books an emergency appointment with his ophthalmologist due to excessive eye movement or begins slowly clapping his hands. Williamson & Co. remembers the fear most people felt when the virus seemed to be moving through the population at an unsettlingly fast pace, and how each exit made you wonder if you were taking your life in your own hands. They also remember the rage that spread to those who felt that our fellow citizens displayed a rather laissez-faire attitude toward public health guidelines. Whether the ideas they’re toying with here offer a boost of relevance to a modern slasher story is, frankly, debatable. What we can say is: congratulations on being the first out the door. Y an instantaneous subgenre footnote.