Sick ★★★

Just like John Hyams' prior feature Alone, a stripped-down cat and mouse chase through the forest, Sick gets the slasher fundamentals down perfectly. The sheer mechanics here are clockwork precise, doing all the work to push momentum onward as the movie tumbles into its relentless back half. The hiding, the seeking, the geography of the set, the blades, the bleeding, the gasping attacks and narrow escapes, they all click together just right, a refreshingly unambitious, workmanlike approach to genre that I respect and tend to enjoy more than high wire acts that trip and fall. Dude just gets how this stuff works, and that rocks.

However, along with writer Kevin Williamson, he also gives us one of the dumbest motivations I've ever seen in a slasher, one that dovetails perfectly with pandemic hysteria and unfortunately the latest Scream movie in terms of "oh... huh" reactions when it comes to the big third act explanation. Like sure, whatever excuse you needed to deliver this prime slasher action I guess, but.. seriously? I get why some people had a violently negative reaction to Sick. But honestly a little covid-related stupidity rolled right off my back as long as the gnarly thrills kept coming. Had a great time watching anyway, my wife and I cackling away right up to the end.

My only question now is: will this age extremely poorly or get better with distance from the real life pandemic?

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