It was only a matter of time before the COVID-19 pandemic became fodder for a horror film. It makes sense, given the heightened panic of an unseen enemy and the need for isolation from a danger that gripped many people during the crisis, which are two cornerstones in the genre.
Sick, the new horror movie co-written by Scream mastermind Kevin Williamson, skillfully uses the pandemic as a setting and chief plot device. The movie, now streaming on Peacock, is nasty and scary, two things you want in a horror flick. If you’re curious about what goes on in the movie, and how Sick ends, you’ve come to the right place.
Sick opens with an homage to Williamson’s earlier work, the 1996’s classic Scream. A young man in his 20s, Tyler Murphy, shops at a grocery store in early April 2020, just as the pandemic was in full swing. While shopping, Tyler receives strange text messages that indicate someone is watching him. He quickly goes home, where he encounters a masked killer with a knife. After an intense battle that sees Tyler’s hand sliced, he seemingly drives the killer away. As he cautiously steps outside of his apartment to confirm the killer’s exit, he is slashed in the throat from behind by the killer.
The movie then cuts to the next day at an empty college campus, where two students, Parker and Miri, pack their car to quarantine at Parker’s isolated family cabin in the woods. They arrive safely, unpack, and disinfect everything to make sure they are COVID-free. While relaxing near the lake, Parker and Miri talk about an Instagram video of her making out with a random boy, Benji, at a party. Miri thinks she did it to make her casual boyfriend DJ jealous, which Parker denies.
Their discussion is interrupted by an anonymous text message sent to Parker, which, like Tyler’s texts, indicates someone is watching them. Unnerved but not scared, Parker blocks the number. Later that night, the girls’ tranquil evening is disturbed by someone ringing the doorbell. After a tense minute, it’s revealed to be DJ, Parker’s boyfriend. He’s there to profess his true feelings for Parker, which Parker quickly but quietly rebuffs.
As the girls retire to bed upstairs, a masked figure (the same one from the opening scene) sneaks into the house as DJ gets his bags. Once inside, the masked figure managed to steal DJ’s and Parker’s iPhones. A song from the basement wakes DJ, who immediately figures out that someone is inside the house and is about to kill Miri. He gives Parker his keys and tells her to jump out of the second-story window while he gets Miri. DJ saves Miri, who quickly escapes outside, leading to a fight between the DJ and the killer.
Outside, the two girls see DJ stumble out of the house, only to be impaled by a coat rack by the killer. The two girls try to flee in the car, but the flat tire gets stuck in a ditch. Parker and Miri race back to the house, where they try to escape from the second story. Miri falls, seemingly dead. Parker goes downstairs and fights the killer, who is killed with a blunt object by Parker. To Parker’s surprise, another masked killer then enters the house, briefly cries over the dead body, and chases her to the lake. Yes, there are two killers now, just like Scream!
After swimming across the lake and inadvertently getting a neighbor killed (his throat is slashed), Parker makes it to the road and incapacities the second killer just as a car is approaching. She pleads with the older woman (who is wearing a medical mask) to help her. She lets Parker in the car, but it doesn’t move. Quickly, she realizes she smells chloroform and passes out.
Parker awakens back in the cabin, where she is held captive by the woman and the second masked killer, who is revealed to be an older man. It’s revealed that they are the parents of both the first masked killer and Benji, the boy Parker made out with at the party on her Instagram. It seems Parker gave Benji COVID, who soon died from it. The parents contact traced the person who gave COVID to Parker, Tyler, and killed him in the opening scene. Now they want to kill Parker for killing both of their sons.
Benji’s father notices someone is using the house Wi-Fi and correctly deduces it’s a still-alive Miri, who has contacted the police via computer. As the man looks for her, Benji’s mother is about to kill Parker before Miri sneaks up behind her and pushes her through a window. They both run up the stairs and set a trap for the older man, whose Achille’s heel is cut by Miri and is blinded by hairspray by Parker, which causes him to fall from the second story onto a pair of antlers in the foyer.
Both girls go to the outdoor garage to get the other car started. As Parker retrieves gasoline to fuel the car, she is attacked by a wounded but still alive Benji’s mother. In the fight, the mother is doused in gasoline. Miri lights the mother’s pants on fire, which quickly engulfs her entire body. She runs out to the road but collapses. As her body burns, the two girls walk out onto the road with the cops finally arriving.