Don't Sleep On Sick, The New Horror Movie From Scream Writer Kevin Williamson

January is often viewed as the "dump month" for Hollywood studios, where films producers don't have faith in are unceremoniously released to little fanfare just to fulfill contractual release obligations. Fortunately, for horror, January is when things get exciting again. After the full-tilt madness of the Halloween season, horror typically takes a back seat in November and December as holiday films and Oscar bait take center stage. But once that ball drops to usher in a new year, horror arrives to get the party started. Horror has never played by the conventional rules of release slates, and that's great news for film fans who prefer their viewing habits with a side of viscera.

While "M3GAN" continues to slay at the box office, Blumhouse has another horror flick hacking its way to the streaming platform Peacock — the pandemic slasher, "Sick." The film takes place circa April 2020, when the harsh reality was starting to set in that this COVID-19 thing was not going to go away after "just a few weeks," and the world as we knew it was changing forever. As the pandemic rages on, two best friends — Parker (Gideon Adlon) and Miri (Bethlehem Million) — quarantine at a remote cabin. Of course, as we've all learned from every slasher that came before, the duo is not alone and are forced to fight for their lives against a masked slasher ... while the entire world around them is locked down.

"Sick" is directed by John Hyams but was co-written by Katelyn Crabb and horror living legend Kevin Williamson. New, original horror movies are always worth celebrating, but adding the genre-caliber talent of Williamson to the equation immediately makes "Sick" a must-watch.

Kevin Williamson is a master of horror

Kevin Williamson is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest contributors to the horror genre (especially the teen horror subgenre) living today. While he broke onto the scene with the beloved teen drama series "Dawson's Creek," horror is where Williamson's creativity soars the highest. Not only is he the screenwriter responsible for completely changing the slasher genre forever with "Scream," "Scream 2," and "Scream 4," but he's also the brilliant scribe behind "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Teaching Mrs. Tingle," "Cursed," and my personal favorite, "The Faculty."

In the same way that every coming-of-age teen film has either been trying to replicate or subvert the style of John Hughes since the 1980s, every teen horror film has been either trying to capture the magic of Williamson's work or do whatever they can to distance themselves from the obvious comparisons. How many times have we seen a movie advertised as "the best slasher since 'Scream'"? Kevin Williamson's run of horror films from the '90s and '00s was so strong, his influence can be marked as a "before" and "after" for the teen horror subgenre as a whole.

All of this is to emphasize that Peacock landing the new Kevin Williamson flick is the stuff dreams are made of, and it premiering on Friday the 13th only adds to the delight. Sure, I could binge-watch every Jason Voorhees film to honor the holiday ... but I've already done that, so it's thrilling to have a brand new slasher from the mind of the subgenre's greatest living creatives to celebrate with instead.

Sick is a slick slasher

Above all else, "Sick" is a ridiculously fun slasher film filled with cat-and-mouse stalker scenes that feel right at home with everything Williamson crafted in his heyday. "Sick" feels both totally fresh and delightfully familiar, which only makes the viewing experience all the more enjoyable. It's fascinating to see a film that shares so much DNA with "Scream" arrive the same year as the highly-anticipated "Scream 6," proving that Williamson not only laid the blueprint but continually builds upon the standards he invented. In a lot of ways, "Sick" feels like an honorary "Scream" film, like a bizarro-world spin-off that swaps Ghostface for a ski-mask.

While it would have been great for "Sick" to have gotten a full-blown theatrical run, it makes total sense that the film would head straight to streaming given the film's setting so it can be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of our own living rooms. As the world continues "opening up" and pretending like the pandemic isn't still very much a thing and immunocompromised folks (like yours truly) are forced to put themselves in harm's way just to exist in the world, getting such a high-profile release straight-to-streaming is not something to take for granted.

"Sick" is now streaming on Peacock.