Man, that Notre Dame game was tough to watch. Turns out Brian Kelly was just a terrible symptom of the disease and the real problem was the man who hired him and made so many bad hires. Jack Swarbrick is leaving, but he got to pick his replacement because that's how a well-run organization does things apparently. So it seems like this clown car has a full tank of gas. After the game, I wanted to see other people, other than Notre Dame's coaches, making dumb decisions, so I watched...
Before I get to the plot, the opening of this movie has maybe the dumbest character I've ever seen in a horror movie and that's saying a lot for a genre that's known for its dummy. Tyler is shopping at a supermarket when he's getting texts from an unknown number that refuses to say who they are. He then gets a text message from the same number showing they're in the same store. So let's talk about all the bad decisions he makes in such a short time. For starters, when he gets to his apartment, he leaves his door unlocked despite knowing he's being stalked. Next, while putting away his groceries he sees one of his doors are opened. While he stupidly stares at the door, his TV turns on to CNN talking about COVID. Instead of leaving right then and calling the police, he leaves the kitchen to stare about three inches from the TV, completely oblivious to everything else. The baddie comes out and they fight. Tyler gets stabbed through the hand before safely making it to his bedroom and barricades the door. Instead of trying to go out the window, trying to yell for help or at least staying put, he wraps his hand in a shirt, grabs a baseball bat and goes out to fight! At this point, I wanted to get it over quickly because this guy was practically demanding he be killed. Tyler finally gets murdered, putting him and the audience out of our misery, after once again getting tricked. The baddie probably could have killed Tyler by getting him to follow a laser pointer until he walked right off a cliff.
During the movie, I kept wondering "How am I going to write this review?" It takes place in April 2020 during the height of COVID. Everyone is wearing masks, there's no toilet paper (bidets for the win!) and, well we all lived through it so you don't need me to remind you. It's difficult to review because the virus is still such a hot topic. For an entire year, eight hours a day, all I did was read, watch and write about nothing but COVID at work. If I weren't working from home and being able to spend time with my wife and see President Baby grow, I would have been burnt out and would have contemplated quitting news even more than usual. I say this to point out that I understand why both sides of the issue feel the way they do. I try to keep this place politics-free because we get enough of that, and (points to 2024,) it's going to get even worse real soon. I'm going to tread carefully in this review because we're still dealing with that damn virus and the decisions that came from it.
Two college students, Parker and Miri are heading into quarantine at Parker's family's lake house. As I mentioned, it's the height of COVID, and their college has shut down for the year. While there, Parker gets texts from an unknown number that all but says, "Hey, I'm watching you!" Parker then immediately blocks the number and I thought hmm, maybe Tyler was just a fluke and the rest of the movie wouldn't be so stupid. I was wrong.
This movie is really stupid. The characters are dumb, the baddies are dumb and their motivation is really dumb. I'm going to talk about spoilers because I have to. Because this is COVID we're treated to how people acted in the beginning. People get admonished about masks, a lot. Like, even during the baddie monologue, they're yelling about masks. In the beginning, while outside, Tyler bumps into a guy and he yells at Tyler, "Where is your mask?!" That's a huge plot point, almost as big a plot point as not being tested. At the end, while the baddies are doing the Scream reveal where they give an over-the-top monologue, you find out they're killing these people because Parker wasn't following proper COVID procedure. She was at a party, made out with a dude and he later died of COVID. His family does COVID tracing and realizes Parker got their son sick. They, honest to God, give her a COVID test during the monologue, and it seems like it's supposed to be a big reveal that she is asymptomatic. I half expected the camera to zoom in on the baddie's face when reading the test results.
I don't get what the movie was trying to say. At first, you think that maybe they're overdoing it, but no, people really acted this way. I've seen fights over people not wearing masks and for people wearing them. I don't know who the filmmakers wanted us to root for. The baddies were bad because they were murdering people but they were spouting the same things Dr. Fauci and our leaders were saying. You're supposed to feel bad for them and the movie goes out of its way to show how Parker flouts COVID restrictions. Her friend Miri castigates her multiple times for not wearing her mask or her general attitude towards the situation. I've never rolled my eyes harder than when the baddies reveal their plan. I can't tell if it's a satire about those who deified Fauci or about the horrors of not taking the virus seriously. I think it tries to do both and the result is a mess.
I couldn't help but shake the thought that SIck was just a Scream ripoff. Only, instead of being obsessed with horror movies, the baddies were obsessed with COVID. One review I read called it "Covidsploitation" and it's 100% correct. This movie would not exist if the pandemic wasn't doing all the heavy lifting. It wasn't until the credits that I realized why it seemed like a ripoff. The movie was written by Kevin Williamson, the same guy who did the first Scream. All they did was switch out the costume and make it texting instead of phone calling. I mean, they even used the same knife! It follows the same beats and twists of every Scream movie but is nowhere near as clever as the first one. This movie is literally Malibu Stacy in a new hat.
It wasn't all bad though. I liked Parker. She was fun to watch and capable and managed to fight back a lot. It's also short, clocking in at less than 90 minutes. Also, there's no second act. Once the first act ends, it goes right to the third. It's one long, extended chase scene. It's pretty cool and keeps humming along at a crisp pace and no point does it lag. Because the chase scene is so long, there are a lot of different set pieces they take us through and for the most part, it works. But, because of the time spent on it, they have to make the baddies able to teleport and constantly be in the right place at the right time. At one point, Parker gets on a raft and starts trying to row to the other side of the lake. She gets about halfway there when the baddie yanks away her oar from underwater. He managed to swim without making a noise or water ripples for the entire time she was rowing which doesn't make an ounce of sense. There's a lot of dumb stuff in this movie, like a downed killer ignoring his knife just inches from his hand so he can instead slowly try to grab one of our heroes. Not to mention the incredible timing and good luck the killers needed so many times, especially when they tricked Parker into wearing a chloroform-soaked mask. Yeah, this movie is dumb.