Set at the height of the pandemic, is Sick conservative pandering or simply a middle-of-the-road slasher film?
Gideon Aldon, Bethlehem Million, Marc Menchaca, Jane Adams
John Hyams
1h 23m
Release date
January 13, 2023
Where to watch
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Rating Summary
Ever wonder what the original Scream would have been like without the style and with less interesting characters and plot/twist? Well, for just 1 hour and 23 minutes of your life, you can find out.

Set at the height of the global pandemic, Sick follows two college friends as they quarantine in an isolated “cabin” in the woods, but what will get them first, COVID or the knife-wielding killer who’s out for blood?


There isn’t a lot to say about Sick, at 1 hour and 23 minutes long, it does a good job of getting right to the point. It gives us just enough time to get to know the characters before they begin running and screaming for their lives. The first third of the film was fairly by the numbers, with the action moving forward thanks to characters behaving stupidly, and doing things that most people wouldn’t do. However, the slasher film cliches do not stop there. It has teenagers/early 20-somethings with questionable morals who go to a cabin in the woods, a lake, generic spooky music, dark rooms with darkly clad masked figures standing in backlit doorways, and people needlessly splitting up.

However, there are some things to like about Sick. For instance, the opening scene in the grocery store was immediately engrossing and perfectly caught the zeitgeist of the time, allowing the viewer to quickly and easily invest in the narrative, and emotionally connecting them to the characters who were driving the action. Sick also did a masterful job of reflecting the inconsistencies of mask-wearing, showing people pulling theirs down while in the middle of a crowded room so that they could scratch their noses. It showed how some people would freak out about having a mask on in the car when sharing it with another person but moments later that same person would have their mask off again because they were in a different space…still with the same person who they made wear a mask in the car. While the backdrop of the pandemic made for a convenient excuse to make the main cast isolated, it did little more than that and was mostly incidental.

Once the contrivances used to set the stage have done their job, the final 2/3s of the film are rather enjoyable, if predictable. However, there are several little twists that do a nice job of subverting expectations and will bring a smile to your face.

Sick is a middling slasher movie that has been done before and done much better. That being said, if you have seen everything else the genre has to offer and aren’t interested in rewatching Scream, you could do worse than grabbing a few cold ones and plopping down on the couch with this on the TV and your phone in your hands.


The morally bankrupt youth culture is on display but that’s hardly new for these types of films, and it doesn’t preach the values of the culture in lieu of telling a cogent narrative.

James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

One comment

  • N/A

    September 30, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    5 out of 5

    It’s 2023 and I’m still unaware of any global pandemic. Why are these people wearing masks? Weird.


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