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Watch: Killer exclusive clip from 'Scream' writer's COVID-19 slasher 'SICK,' streaming now on Peacock

Co-writer Kevin Williamson describes the project as an "old school slasher meets modern twist."

By Josh Weiss
SICK (2023)

Kevin Williamson, the genre-defining screenwriter behind Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, describes his latest genre effort — SICK — as "old school slasher meets modern twist." Written in conjunction with his former assistant, Katelyn Crabb, the film (now streaming on Peacock) takes place in April 2020 at the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic that plunged the world into chaos.

When two college friends, Parker (Blockers' Gideon Adlon) and Miri (Piss Party's Bethlehem Million), decide to quarantine at a remote lake house, they find themselves stalked by murderous masked assailants with an unknown motive. "We wanted to do something that spoke to the time that we lived in, which was the COVID rage of everything and the anxiety," Williamson, who also served as a producer, explains over a phone call with SYFY WIRE. "We wanted to speak to that and so we sort of put those two things together."

We're excited to share an exclusive sneak peek, in which Parker and her casual boyfriend, DJ (Teen Wolf's Dylan Sprayberry) plan a quiet escape after learning that someone is creeping around inside the house. "My favorite types of horror films are those extended chase scenes where it just goes on and on forever," Williamson admits. "I said, ‘Let’s just do a movie that’s one long chase scene.’"

Check it out below:

Clocking in at a brisk 83 minutes that barely takes its foot off the proverbial gas, SICK was helmed by director John Hyams (Chucky, Black Summer), whose 2020 thriller — Alone — caught the attention of Williamson in the early days of the pandemic.

"It was so good and so scary," the writer says. "We called him up and said, ‘Can we please meet?' He was explaining to me that he made that movie with $600,000 and I couldn't believe it. My head was blown. I said, ‘We don't have much money. Can you make this movie?’ He read it and was like, ‘Oh yeah, I can make this movie.’ Then he did a bang up job."

He continues: "Him and his DP, Yaron [Levy] ... I think that's the success of the movie, is watching the camerawork and some of those long, extended takes where they're just running. I think he brings such a visceral adrenaline to all the action sequences. They feel so messy and dirty and real, like it's really happening. I just like the adrenaline that moves through you when watch it."

While produced as an independent feature under the Miramax banner, the film was ultimately purchased by Blumhouse following a successful screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. "Jason Blum called me up ... and said, ‘We're buying this movie and buying. I’m buying it, I’m buying it.’ And I was like, ‘Ok! Buy it, please!’"

SICK is now streaming on Peacock.

If you're craving more slasher film fun, Peacock also has you covered with Prom Night and They/Them