Izzy is a young girl who has it tough: parents are missing, her older brother is off fighting in Iraq, and she has to raise her younger brother on her own. While it is tough she still loves her family and her way of life, so when something occur that threaten the sanctity of her home she responds in extremely violent ways.
After the disappointment that was "Header" I decided to keep my nose to the ground and drown out any noise for another nasty movie released by Synapse, "Sick Girl". I heard some general rumblings of kids being killed and tortured but I did my best to ignore any discussions or reviews. Since I didn't want to find myself in the same boat I did with "Header" - believing the hype around it but end up being frustrated because the movie turns out to be nothing but fluff. So, is "Sick Girl" all it's cracked up to be?
Well, yes and no. I can understand some of the acknowledgment the movie gets for its scenes of violence. At the same time though, the movie clearly wants to be something more than just a shock film with scenes of torture and violence designed to make the viewers squirm in their seats. The problem is that "Sick Girl" is a marginal film of kids-gone-bad due to their surroundings, causing them to develop a psychosis that makes them kill.
The movie's plot revolves around Izzy who's basically gone insane from losing family members, and told through a series of flashbacks was relatively unstable to begin with. Izzy is only 17 but she is left to take care of her younger brother because her parents are missing and her older brother is fighting in Iraq. The unstable home life for Izzy (mostly caused by the absence of her older brother that she harbored strong desires for) leads her to kidnap, torture, and kill anyone who she finds threatening to herself or her family. Of course Izzy tries to maintain an appearance of being normal, while spending the other parts of her life killing and torturing people in her barn. This inevitably leads to things boiling over and her two separate lives of a normal teenager and twisted killer crossing paths.
The story is pretty much the media standard of saying that people are essentially fine until some external stimuli of sorts (Bullied, abused, bad home life, etc. Which is kind of funny since there is a part in the movie that comments on such excuses regarding bullies.) causes the person to go crazy, and is where the problem lies. Only secondary to music, movies, and video games of course. The story itself; it's nothing terrible, but at the same time it's pretty much the same set up that we've gotten from modern horror movies as of late. (i.e. certain people's action causing other people to become killers) Obviously Eben McGarr was trying to go for the "real life horror" angle, and he does get there at times, but with a sub-par storyline the movie falls back on it's scenes of violence to not only keep it going but to make the movie watchable. The scenes that fall in between the violence, the important ones intended for character and story development, are rather mundane. It's an unfortunate result of uninteresting and unrelatable characters and a been-there-done-that plot. As I said earlier, the movie does get attention and praise for showing violence occurring to kids. And I'll admit; the movie does actually deserve credit for going as far as it does with some of the scenes. Certainly not a shock fest or even a shock film really, but "Sick Girl" certainly didn't hold back because of the age of the characters.
Basically, for me, "Sick Girl" is a mediocre film. It's not a bad movie, but it's also nothing special. I say it's not bad because it was made well enough that it's probably not something you’re going to shut off 5 minutes into it. It has a reasonable pace with a decent enough story and doesn't try to get by on the violent content. On that note though, it is the violence that helps to keep the movie afloat. "Sick Girl" could have been an interesting character study on a psychotic young female killer, and had the elements to go in such a direction. Instead it just averages out on the killer aspect and settles for graphic violence to keep the viewer going and help get the movie attention. Because of that, when it's over there is really nothing that sticks with you. Well I take that back; there were two scenes that were extremely powerful and effective. If the movie as a whole could have had the intensity of those scenes then this really would have been an impressive movie. Instead, it's only 'okay' at best.