Dir. Timothy T. Cunningham 79 mins
UK Release: 6th May 2013
101 Films seem to have been hard at work of late creating quite a slate of not too shabby Independent genre films – check out the worthy slasher ‘Mask Maker’ for instance. Their latest acquisition, ‘Sick Boy’ finds Lucy (Skye McCole Bartusiak) working as a dental hygienist, albeit briefly as she soon feints observing a particularly nasty extraction. Deciding this career path is not for her, she’s left to explain her decision to her pragmatic boyfriend Chris (Marc Donato), who wastes no time in accusing her of making rash emotionally charged decisions.
Despite a reconciliation the following morning, Lucy decides to tell her best friend Alice (Teresa Valenza) of her situation over lunch, recounting tales of the couples frustration with each other as well as continual bickering. On hearing this Alice asks Lucy if she would be willing to attend a lucrative babysitting interview that day as has the opportunity of an audition. Lucy agrees, and soon after arrives at the upmarket property to be met by her potential employer, Dr Helen Gordan (Debbie Rochon).
It transpires that Dr Gordan’s son Jeremy (Cas Rooney) is quite sick, and is contained in a quarantine like state in his room unable to even get out of bed. Seemingly presenting Lucy with the job, Dr Gordan emphasises to Lucy that she must stay on this floor and not go down to her son’s room, insisting this is purely a precautionary measure as not to expose him to anything.
As Lucy’s first night begins, she takes a stroll around the lush and expansive grounds of the property, gripping the baby monitor wherever she roams. As the night wears on Lucy’s becomes increasingly bored, which in turn leads to her becoming more inquisitive – looking through drawers, inside rooms, and even browsing the family PC. Finally, she can restrain herself no longer and feels compelled to head towards this afflicted child’s bedroom. On her hands and knees she peers through a crack at the base of the bedroom door, and she is exposed to the horror of Jeremy for the very first time.
We’ve been blessed with quality babysitter movies in the last few years – ‘Babysitter Wanted’ and Ti West’s ‘House Of The Devil’ to name but two, and I was intrigued to discover just how ‘Sick Boy’ would pan out. The key part of this film is Jeremy, and how successfully the filmmakers could gradually increase the tension and intrigue as to what his condition actually is.
Personally, I thought it was an engaging and undoubtedly creepy film that rewarded your investment in its characters and slow building menace. Those that prefer more instant gratification from their horror may be left frustrated, particularly with the films unwillingness to bow to some early shocks, but for me this little horror movie, made for a reputed $50,000 really hit the mark.
6 out of 10