SEA FEVER doesn’t change any of the genre from whence it came, that of the genre of parasite/viral/disease psychological sci-fi horror thriller infection in a remote location type situation, but the film is so well made, subtle, and with fantastic performances that it comes out above the mediocre, shitty ones that you were used to seeing past the year 2000, other than Steven Soderberg’s near masterpiece Contagion. It doesn’t try to over do it, aka just have a bunch of gore or guts every frame to try and make you run to the bathroom with your hand covering your mouth. It has just the right amount to shock and awe you in those quick perfect moments that need it the most, when the story perfectly sets it up before hand and earns and deserves those moments. The film is about, using IMDB’s log line so I don’t end up spoiling the movie for you: “crew of a West of Ireland trawler, marooned at sea, struggle for their lives against a growing parasite in their water supply.” The movie is perfectly eerie and scary, only using a couple of earned jump scares and mostly relying on its wit and psychological terror to get into your head. Also, there is a speech by the main character 3/4th of a way into the movie that no film of disease really has (yet needs) that is blatantly relevant of what we are going through right now with COVID-19. Gave me chills.
The films stars a couple of people you might know. I don’t think you know who Hermoine Corfield is. She’s had very bit parts in big movies like The Last Jedi and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Here she is the star, and hopefully with her talents after this she’ll get bigger roles. She plays some sort of scientist, I think oceanographer that joins this trawler, and she knows about sea life a lot, so she tries to help the crew navigate this possible infectious disease even though she’s only really learning about it as the film, and their plight, goes along. You definitely know two of the actors in this, Dougray Scott and Connie Nielsen. Connie Nielsen was the woman that loved Russell Crowe in Gladiator and Dougray Scott courted Drew Barrymore in Ever After. They are in fine form here, especially the later, this might be his best performance in years, and definitely not since the very underwhelming Mission Impossible 2. The movie is a slow burn, yet it doesn’t take very long to get to the heart of the matter and everything just keeps getting better and better through to the very last frame of the film. The movie will keep you guessing on who dies and the actual body count at the end. I made a few guesses but they all turned out to be not what I thought would happen.
Anyway, this is a really really good movie. I like how only show bits and parts of the creature, and not the entire thing to leave what it really looks like up to your imagination. I’m wondering if the script really called for that or if it was because of the budget (I’m guessing the latter). The director, Neasa Hardiman, this being her first feature, I looked up and turns out she directed the better episodes of Jessica Jones, and some other television stuff I haven’t seen. Well, needless to say, she was born for theatrical features and I hope to see more from her in the future. She’s talented behind the camera, perfect framing and staging to make the cabin fever in the small boat in the film seem dark and real. When I got the film on VUDU (blind buy but I read fantastic reviews), my only complaint is that it has this really weird cinematic like intro before it gets to the films real intro. I don’t know if its trying to recreate a unique theatrical experience before it starts the movie because the producers feel bad about COVID-19 and all the theaters shut down or what, but it’s a really weird intro, you’ll see what I’m talking about. But yeah, after We Summon The Darkness yesterday, I’m really beginning to start to enjoy these little independent features of 2020 that didn’t quite make it to theaters, especially after how underwhelmed I was and fearful after the likes of Vivarium and Swallow. It’s the disease/psychological/sci-fi horror film we didn’t know we needed right now and I highly recommend you check it out. Maybe word of mouth will make the viewing of this film…infectious, per say.