Horrors of the Deep: Sea Fever (2019) - Reviewed

This last two weeks saw a return to the sea with the sci-fi/horror hybrid releases of Sea Fever on Amazon Prime and the Kristen Stewart film, Underwater landing on blu-ray. 

Where the Stewart vehicle returned us to the roots of deep ocean Alien type terror, the streaming release of Sea Fever brings us closer to drama above the surface as members of the vessel struggle with morality, ethics, and a doomed trip to sea that often times bears a minor resemblance to John Carpenter's The Thing. The core is there for a striking story that sees a crew do battle with a creature from the deep that has begins to infect all the people aboard a fishing boat. Per usual for these types of films, it's a matter of time and wits that will only allow a few to survive against the odds. Where the movie could have wandered into being just another computer generated effects spectacle, it concentrates more on character and the dilemmas that face the human element of the story. 

With the current health crisis that's sweeping the globe, this is a perfectly timed release. As the crew is effected by a mysterious disease that seems to be a moving target, their concern is not just about survival. It becomes a quandary that they must solve. Return home and infect the entire world? Or stay at sea and solve the problem for the greater good of mankind? This is exactly where Sea Fever separates itself from the pack. Each character shows how we might act in the face of our own mortality and the risks of potentially ravaging the earth with an unrelenting virus from the depths of the ocean. Actors including Connie Nielsen and the oft missing Dougray Scott carry a hefty dramatic weight while the stunning Hermione Corfield intersects with her talents and skill to lift a great genre entry above being a-typical indie muck. 

To dive or not to dive. That is the question. 

Instead of going directly for the jugular, Sea Fever gives its audience a more slow burn delivery. Yes, there are some amazing looking visuals of the mysterious creature that lies just below their fishing boat, but they steadily find a way to steer away from centralizing on that. Director Neasa Hardiman (Jessica Jones, Inhumans) brings her experience and long back catalog of work with a steady hand, moving from morality tale to the horrific and mixing sub-genres to great effect. Also, the mixed use of practical effects with CGI further proves that can be the best way to go when producing these types of films. 

Sea Fever is available on Amazon Prime right now for streaming. If you're looking for something to fill the void while waiting for things to return to normal, this is a most excellent watch that features an excellent story, great acting, and a mildly familiar plot. Sometimes that's okay. It's like coming home again to a claustrophobic tale of man's nature when fighting the odds. As things begin to unravel, we're reminded of our current crisis and how we will find a way out of this at all costs. If you're a fan of the aforementioned films, you'll definitely find much to love here. 

-Chris George