19th Dec2014

‘Sick: Survive the Night’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Debbie Rochon, Christina Aceto, Richard Roy Sutton, Jennifer Polansky, Robert Nolan, Sandra DaCosta, Devin Upham, Ry Barrett, Neil Green | Written by Ryan M. Andrews, Chris Cull | Directed by Ryan M.Andrews

sick-survive

Dr. Leigh Rozetta is a young, maverick scientist, who’s been living in a secret underground Government facility since the outbreak began two years earlier. After constant failed attempts to find a cure, Leigh sneaks away to return to her parent’s house. On her way she crosses paths with Seph and Mckay, two militant survivalists. With nightfall close at hand, the three of them know they need to seek shelter, as the Sick are more active in the dark. Boarding themselves up in Leigh’s parents house, the plan is simple: survive the night. But with the Sick surrounding the house and their own tensions through the roof, they’ll be lucky if anyone makes it out alive.

I seen a fair amount of zombie films in my time on this earth and Sick: Survive the Night just got added to that list. I love me a good zombie film and should the undead ever take over the world, you can expect me to continue writing reviews from the safety of my well defended fortress in the mountains of Scotland. But until that happens, let’s focus on the here and now. Like how good Sick: Survive the Night was as a film. I am going to start with the positives. Zombies. Can’t go wrong there really. It’s a tried and tested film equation (some people might say overly tested) which can ramp up the scares very well. Being stuck in a house at night surrounded by zombies? A classic move. You can focus on the psychological aspects of zombie warfare, really focussing on the struggle for survival. It worked in Night of the Living Dead and for the majority it works very well in the context of this film. I never found this film dragged or took too long. It was paced very well, keeping the action and more ‘down time’ moments even and quick. The three main characters are balanced for the most part, the smart scientist woman, the aggressive psycho with a death wish and the strategic grumpy guy who doesn’t want to have any fun, and, although not the most likeable or smart in a lot of cases, they get the job done.

But, then there are the other characters. No, not the zombies. I’m talking about a whole host of characters who are set up in the beginning. Characters who looked really varied and interesting only to then get killed off in a matter of seconds. I’m talking about Leigh’s friend, who has a whole back story and a few of her own scenes about being a badass surviving in the infected world. About how she will save her friend by any means necessary only for her to…. not. She fails epically in fact. Her entire character plot line pointless and she doesn’t really contribute to the main story at all. I can see how this film was planned to have a whole bunch of ‘twists’ to make it stand out from the very large crowd of zombie films. To be fair, I was definitely surprised by a lot of them, but not in a good way. In a ‘bash my head against a wall saying “Why? Why? Why?”’ way. Sick may have been trying to achieve something different with the zombie genre, but all it managed to do was kill all my favourite characters extremely quickly.

And as always, why are people who have been living in a zombie infected world for years always so terrible at fighting zombies? You would think they would get the hang of it after a while…

Sick: Survive the Night will be available January 6th 2015 on DVD and VOD, courtesy of Midnight Releasing.

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