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Sea Fever review: a too-timely horror movie about quarantine and contagion

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The opening scene of the brand new horror film Sea Fever doesn’t go away a lot to the creativeness; the primary phrases heroine Siobhán (Hermione Corfield) says is “I don’t do becoming a member of in,” which describes every part there may be to learn about her character’s arc for the film. She’s a superb scientist, however not nice at making associates — which is assured to trigger some discomfort on her upcoming analysis journey on a small fishing ship.

For a ship in the course of the ocean, the protection margin is extremely skinny, and the strain ramps up the second issues go awry. After steering into an off-limits space and being hit by an unseen, large object underwater, the crew finds uncommon creatures consuming their approach by way of the hull. Assuming it’s a barnacle, Siobhán dives to research, and finds out that they’re seeing the exploratory tendrils of a a lot, a lot bigger creature.

The neon glow of the ocean creature is ethereal and terrifying, much better high quality in design and execution than most indie horror films. However there’s extra to the creature than simply the brilliant specter ready beneath the boat. Because the crew turns into contaminated with the parasites spawned by the creature, they succumb in grotesque, creative methods. Quickly, they’re all snapping at one another, attempting to resolve who’s contaminated, and who’s simply affected by a worrying journey at sea.

Picture: DUST/Gunpowder & Sky

As with many creature-features, the ship has an opportunity to show round and save themselves, if solely boat captains Freya (Connie Nielsen) and Gerard (Dougray Scott) weren’t one dangerous haul away from shedding the ship. Every of the ship’s crewmembers have a burden that retains them from returning to shore. Whereas the remainder of the movie doesn’t overcome the preliminary forthright method to character growth, the unfolding thriller of the brand new, deep-sea creature is greater than sufficient to hold the film.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/sea-fever-review-a-too-timely-horror-movie-about-quarantine-and-contagion/92951/ by - on 2020-04-10T19:49:45.000Z

Though Siobhán flirts with deckhand Johnny (Jack Hickey), their relationship, like her character arc, by no means reaches fruition. Siobhán doesn’t grow to be way more than the stoic scientist archetype, though Sea Fever regularly reveals extra about her bravery and robust ethical compass. Regardless of that messaging within the opening scene, her lack of connection to different folks isn’t handled like a failing, simply a side of her character that influences her indifferent method to investigation. It’s a pleasant change of tempo to see a personality proudly owning this facet of her character with out having to study to beat it. However that arc doesn’t essentially work in Sea Fever, which depends so closely on character interactions to develop the strain and mounting horror.

For a lot of the film, Siobhán is paired with sensible engineer Omid (Ardalan Esmaili), who helps her experiment with quite a few methods of coping with the parasitic incursion. Omid is extra a plot-pusher than a well-developed character, however the back-and-forth of scientific and engineering options means his presence nonetheless provides quite a lot of curiosity to scenes with Siobhán. Even with no full character arc, her lack of camaraderie from her crewmates in the end saves an excessive amount of lives, so it seems like her story pays off.

Among the crew — particularly Freya and previous sea-hand Ciara (Olwen Fouéré) — are charmingly shady sufficient to make up for the general lack of character development. Different crew members fail to make any private influence, as a result of they’ve so little character outdoors of their grim backstories. That makes their deaths really feel like inevitable checkmarks on the standard horror-movie checklist of fatalities, relatively than the impactful moments of misery the film appears to need them to be.

A group of crew gather around the water pipes in a dingy ship’s hold, checking the water leaking out of the pipes for parasitic infection in Sea Fever.
A group of crew gather around the water pipes in a dingy ship’s hold, checking the water leaking out of the pipes for parasitic infection in Sea Fever.

Picture: DUST/Gunpowder & Sky

Director Neasa Hardiman has clearly drawn inspiration from among the tenser, extra paranoid sequences of John Carpenter’s isolation traditional The Factor, however Sea Fever doesn’t have the fiery personalities or the spectacle of discovery to match its predecessor; The notorious blood-testing scene in The Factor is re-created in a sequence the place Siobhán strains up the crew to test them for indicators of an infection. Though it’s tense, it lacks the burst of sensible results that makes The Factor so terrifying and memorable; the strain doesn’t break a lot because it dwindles.

Alternatively, evaluating a film unfavorably to The Factor doesn’t imply it’s dangerous, simply that it’s not so good as probably the greatest horror films ever made. Seeing the contaminated crew members quietly resign themselves to demise has its personal emotional influence, one in line with Sea Fever’s deal with character-drive drama.

That drama doesn’t at all times have a lot spine, however the stakes improve rapidly as the fear escalates, and there’s hardly ever a boring second. Viewers who’re justifiably confused about contagion and an infection may not think about Sea Fever the correct of sunshine night viewing. However for individuals who can deal with the robust quarantine vibes, Sea Fever is a strong, partaking creature thriller.

Sea Fever is at present obtainable by way of On Demand platforms and for digital rental by way of companies like Redbox and iTunes.

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