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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Sea Fever  

Review: written 2021

Sea fever is no great shakes

Sea fever

This Sea fever turned out to more tepid than hot, despite a decent cast doing their best.

Young loner student marine biologist Siobhan (Hermione Corfield) is required to take to sea on a fishing trawler to observe marine ecosystems up close and personal. She gets a bit more than she bargained for. Skippered by Dougray Scott and his wife Connie Nielsen, and crewed by various other B-movie stereotypes, they search for a haul that will make their trawler profitable again taking them into a restricted area. There, they are beset by a curious sea organism, which starts infecting the crew with parasites.

It’s hard not to be impressed by a low budget effort directed so competently and eliciting generally good performances, but while the interpersonal drama and burgeoning paranoia works well, the sea monster hook the story is anchored to, fails to generate much heat.

Sea fever

There is a growing sense of paranoia as they start wondering who is infected – one tense conversation sees them arguing over how long they should stay isolated at sea to avoid infecting others, or whether they should ignore such concerns in order to get back to ‘normal’ – it’s not hard to draw lines from Covid lockdown to the rising tensions of conflicting priorities of the crew. This works well, and the slowly growing realisation of the scope of their predicament is well played. The movie never tries to do anything that would stretch its budget, and as such looks cinematic and convincing. What isn’t so convincing is the myriad of nationalities all purporting to be speaking with Irish accents.. Dougray Scott is Scottish, and Connie Nielsen is Danish, and while both are good here and it’s great to see Nielsen in particular back on the big screen, neither succeed in pulling off their Irish-ness, and their efforts are a distraction. Hermione Corfield is English, but did in fact convince – it took a while for me to realise I wasn’t in fact watching Saoirse Ronan.

Sea fever

The final act doesn’t pull the threads together, failing to bring the building tension to a satisfyingly charged finale. The sea beast itself isn’t as terrifying as the paranoia it generates. Having said that, the performances here are good, and while drawing heavily on genre tropes, has enough originality to make me wonder what the director might try next.

Sea fever




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