Dude, check this poster. This is scaring me to death right now. I always thought I’d see something like this when I was a kid, and that’s why I didn’t sleep until the day after my 14th birthday.
***I’m going to level with you. I don’t really have too much of a structure for this review before I’m sitting here to write it, so there will very likely be spoilers. For that, enjoy this SPOILER ALERT and maybe don’t read this…you know, if an IMDB rating for this flick doesn’t turn you off first.***
All right, here we go with what may very well become a long-form essay about the film Sick Boy. Released in 2012 by the production company Goat Man’s Hill, directed & written by Tim T. Cunningham (who appears to be kind of a badass in regards to visual effects) and starring a young lady, a guy, a friend, a mom and two sickly humans, this is a film about what happens when a sick boy stops being polite…and starts getting real!
Well, yeah, it’s about that in a way, but a quick synopsis might read more like, “a young woman who has a hard time keeping a job has the best job anyone’s ever heard of dropped into her lap and then crazy shit happens.” We’re getting closer to the truth, but…
…OK, let’s get the arbitrary review-type stuff out of the way, and then maybe I can clarify. I can’t imagine this movie had much of a budget (IMDB estimates $200k), and it’s hard to tell that’s the case. Those involved with the production chose the locations well and used a script that was truly a perfect fit for that budget.
Also, the suspense in almost all of this movie is amazing. Our “sick” little fella might be in the movie for a total of 10 minutes, but the sense of foreboding & intrigue surrounding him and his obviously shenanigan-rich family is really thick. The movie works so, so very well in regards to that.
Look at this kid! Sick! He’s been eating his own poop, looks like…and doing so sloppily!
The problem, though, and the main reason this movie turned my eyes into angry fire is because it’s not really about a “Sick Boy” at all. And no, I don’t mean that it’s not about an obscure wrestler who was in World Championship Wrestling during the mid-90’s, or that it’s not about Jonny Lee Miller’s character in Trainspotting. I mean that this film is not really about a sick child so much as it is about the unholy terror of a painfully ridiculous woman in her mid-20s, and then there’s also some kid with some South American demon flu or something.
Yes, we discover (and here’s where that SPOILER ALERT kicks in!) that this young child has contracted some manner of jungle virus that has rendered him undead & repurposed as a malevolent husk of a boy who craves human flesh. Mom’s off at the hospital, working on the cure. Dad’s…well, Dad’s probably at the bar, telling his friends about how his boy went to South America and only brought back this lousy zombie virus. I mean, Dad’s not at the bar, but I’m not giving away the whole thing here.
It’s unfortunate that none of this matters, because everything bad that actually happens is the lead girl’s fault. She tells her boss at the dentist’s office to suck her cock because cleaning teeth for pay isn’t her dream in life. No, she’s a writer…who can’t write. I’ve actually been there, so I’m not going to shit on that.
I present to the court Exhibit A, the most terrifying and malevolent force to have ever been in a horror film…and she’s our heroine.
So she scores this babysitting gig off of one of her friends, and is paid way too much money to basically chill out & watch TV. All this gal has to do is drink the family’s wine, eat their food, watch some pornos on the ol’ satellite TV and DON’T GO DOWNSTAIRS.
Pretty much the 1st thing she does is go downstairs. Sure, she stares at her computer and pretends she’s a writer for a second, calls her friend and gossips, maybe squeezes out a #2. But she’s basically down those stairs before she can even think of how she’s going to spend her babysittin’ scratch.
The mother says “don’t go down the stairs.” She’s down the stairs. Asks her to stay on the 2nd floor: is everywhere but the 2nd floor. You could say that curiosity is going to kill the shit out of this cat, but she’s actually pretty much the only person who doesn’t die. Her boyfriend dies, a number of police officers die, the whole sick family dies and millions of people around the world die. Have I mentioned that this is all her fault yet?
She has this boyfriend, and they’re going to get married. He’s practical, rational, articulate, correct in his arguments and gives her the right advice the whole movie, but she’s all “but no, ’cause I’m gonna,” and because he loves this incredibly vapid, foolish loser who is clearly going to make him unhappy his entire life or some such stuff, he takes her back to Sick House. Then he chases her when she busts out of the car to go break into the house, busts the lock off the door housing the sick boy downstairs, cuts this critter-kid free and then turns into a puddle of babbling shit as the kid bites the fuck out of the only clear-minded character in the entire film.
Without blowing through every instance where it happens, what it boils down to is that whenever this young lady has a choice, she chooses the worst possible thing in the whole world and then skips out of the carnage unscathed. If she was reading a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, instead of choosing to go to pg. 68 or pg. 82, she’d choose to have a giant fireball consume a busload of tornado-surviving orphans.
And that’s why I simply can’t say this movie is even remotely good. This fix, I think, is actually simple: if you just named this movie Babysitter Kills The World I wouldn’t have felt cheated in the slightest. She actually does kill the world through her consistently poor choices, so if this film just got a re-cut to show her for the true antagonist she was, I’d probably have loved this film. It’s too bad, as there’s a lot to like in Sick Boy, but the aggressively dense protagionist is accidentally worse than Hitler. Ain’t no zombie who’s ever eaten a brain who’s worse than Hitler, but this girl? You see her, you run or you aim for the head.
Actually, just run. Aim for the head, and you might just score a direct hit. Then she’ll miraculously recover from it and expose herself to the world as the Antichrist. Ain’t no Hitler who’s ever been alive who’s worse than the Antichrist.
Sick Boy: It got a 3.5 from IMDB. For reference, the current rating for The Room, widely considered the worst film ever, is a 3.3. Apples and oranges, perhaps, but they’re both still fruit. In this case, they’re both fruit completely filled with poison and scorpions.