14th Apr2020

‘Sea Fever’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Connie Nielsen, Hermione Corfield, Dougray Scott, Olwen Fouéré, Jack Hickey, Ardalan Esmaili, Dag Malmberg, Elie Bouakaze | Written and Directed by Neasa Hardiman

Sea-Fever-UK-Artwork

There’s not actually a whole lot of horror movies based on a boat at sea for nearly its entire length. Obviously you have things like Jaws or this years Underwater but they are slightly different beasts. As are things like Ghost Ship or even films like Mary or Triangle, which while based on boat have a threat that is also on the boat. In Sea Fever the threat is coming from a parasite in the sea which keeps the crew of the boat stuck on it for the foreseeable future.

Sea Fever has plenty of things going for it other than how unique it feels. The rusty old boat is a great setting and I very much enjoyed how authentic everything felt. The boat did look old and rusty, like it had been at sea a thousand times and been beaten by the waves and weather. The people on board didn’t look clean and their hair didn’t look perfectly in place. In fact (in the best way possible) they looked kind of dirty and the ones who were used to being at sea especially, looked like they were used to it. It seems an odd thing to notice but it’s little things like this that make some movies better than others.

The cast are really strong too. Mixing experience and/or just plain good actors works really well. Actors like Connie Nielsen, Olwen Fourer and Dougary Scott have been on huge movie sets in movies that cost millions and their experience and confidence shows. Whereas the slightly less experienced, younger actors Jack Hickey, Ardalan Esmaili, Elie Bouaske and Hermoine Corfield really shine and take there chance on a fairly high profile movie. Working with more experienced actors obviously helps but they more than hold their own with Corfield and Esmaili impressing. According to IMDb this is Bousake’s first and only role which seems astonishing as he is really good too.

Rather than completely focusing on the ‘monster’ of a sea monster movie, Sea Fever focuses on its characters and building the threat and tension. The film that it kept reminding me of most was 1982s The Thing. And that is obviously a huge compliment. Some scenes used tension in a very similar way and that isolation of its characters and the mystery of what they were up against felt quite familiar. Sea Fever does all of this really well too.

Maybe because we don’t see a whole lot of the sea monster, this doesn’t feel like a full-on horror movie at times but it really is. And in case a few horror fans occasionally thought this throughout,it does throw in some moments of gore and blood. Blood actually splatters across the screen much ore than you can imagine.

It was no surprise to me to read that director Neasa Hardiman is well experienced – previously working on Jessica Jones and Inhumans because the film is extremely well made. Cinematographer Ruairi O’Brien has to be praised to – there’s some gorgeous-looking shots both of the boat and one underwater scene at the end of the movie, as well as many more.

Sea Fever was an unexpected delight for me and made me wish there were more horror based at sea with this much thought and effort put into them. Reminiscent of Alien and The Thing, Sea Fever will make you think twice on heading out on your next boat trip.

**** 4/5

Signature Entertainment presents Sea Fever on Blu-ray & Digital HD from April 24th

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