SEA FEVER (2019) Reviews and overview

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Sea Fever is a 2019 Irish-American-British-Swedish-Belgian science-fiction horror feature film about a water-borne parasite that attacks a trawler crew.

Written and directed by Neasa Hardiman, the movie stars Hermione Corfield (Slaughterhouse Rulez; Rust Creek; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman; The Devil’s Advocate), Dougray Scott (The ReZort; The Vatican Tapes; Dark Water) and Olwen Fouéré (Mandy; The Sleep of Death).

The crew of a West of Ireland trawler, marooned at sea, struggle for their lives against a growing parasite in their water supply. Amongst the crew is Siobhán (Hermione Corfield), a young marine biologist, who must use her knowledge to help them overcome the water-borne threat…

“Writer/director Hardiman has crafted a smart film that is aware of the conventions of the subgenre and leans into those tropes as often as she eschews them. The film looks great, it has unexpected developments and there is plenty of mystery in the mythology, which has elements of both environmental allegory and government conspiracy.” Bloody Disgusting

“It’s a fine premise, and the ensuing horrors are satisfyingly icky and convincingly frightening, while its cast of characters are all sufficiently likeable for us to care as they are picked off one by one. Nevertheless, Sea Fever proves better in concept than in execution, let down by a second act of fumbled editing and slackened tension.” CineVue

Sea Fever is a standardized thriller made moderately better by a quality cast doing simple, yet solid work […] None of these personalities light up the screen, but no one acts like they’re in a Syfy monster movie either, which grounds Sea Fever in a realistic realm that would be out of place at a drive-in or midnight screening.” Culture Crypt

Sea Fever is a nightmare you can’t take your eyes off of and can’t stop thinking about after it wraps up. It’s a highly engrossing and entertaining way to challenge assumptions and reactions to the unknown. Hopes are high this smartly crafted thriller will put Hardiman, a very accomplished TV director, on the map for more feature projects soon…” Collider

“The film has been compared to The Thing and Alien, which are both rather lofty in terms of Sea Fever’s meagre budget, although certain scenes are lifted from both […] But while those movies gave us spectacle, there’s little to wonder at here, and while Corfield’s performance as Siobhán is suitably wide eyed and open-mouthed, the whole thing seems a little too inconsequential to engender such interest.” Dark Eyes of London

“It’s kept just above water by an adept cast, led by a terse and practical Corfield as well as the experienced duo of Dougray Scott and Connie Nielsen, who anchor the silliness, despite the latter’s bewildering attempt at an Irish accent. It’s a low-budget effort with high ambitions, something that’s hard not to admire…” The Guardian

“The Lovecraftian overtones of the monster, a testing sequence and the overriding claustrophobia not only echo The Thing but made Sea Fever a spookily well-timed movie for release in early 2020 just as the world faced a rapidly spreading pandemic. Corfield is excellent as a tough, sympathetic heroine forced to acknowledge just how insignificant and vulnerable we all are…” Horror Screams Video Vault

“Hardiman may embrace the tight quarters to create a few claustrophobic scares, but navigates the ship with muscular command with fine work from production designer Ray Ball and cinematographer Ruiari O’Brien to keep “Sea Fever” lively and spry, making the introduction of the parasites with their vivid pastel colors and slick design a strong fit within the world of the film while feeling otherworldly.” The Moveable Feast

Sea Fever had me enthralled. I usually don’t go for this genre but I’m glad I took a chance on this film. It’s thrilling in a quiet way. It’s not splashy, doesn’t depend on elaborate action sequences or fancy special effects (although the special effects it does have are pretty slick). Instead, it latches on to its characters and won’t let go.” Quelle Movies

“Filmmaker Neasa Hardiman has infused Sea Fever with a decidedly deliberate sense of pacing that complements her low-key screenplay quite well, and it’s clear, certainly, that the assortment of compelling and surprisingly well-developed characters go a long way towards initially capturing the viewer’s interest…” Reel Film Reviews

“Hardiman never succumbs to jump scares or traditionally cheap horror movie tactics, using more old-fashioned filmmaking skills like sound design and claustrophobic spaces. Sea Fever is constantly surprising you and becomes very reminiscent of The Thing when it’s clear that whatever is in the water may not be staying there. It’s a great genre pic…”

“The moments of horror are done effectively thanks to the well-done special effects, but those moments eventually turn somewhat predictable as we get closer and closer to a final girl-like scenario, where the film feels obligated to return to the creature, even if we hadn’t seen it for more than half of the movie after its first introduction (and escape).” Screen Anarchy

Sea Fever is quite the catch, a film that easily could have sank under narrative portentousness and instead floats above many films of its ilk. The fact that it’s a feature debut is all the more exciting, with Hardiman immediately emerging as a strong filmmaker to watch. This is an intimate film with grand ideas…” Slash Film

“Neasa Hardiman, who writes and directs Sea Fever, uses her script to serve as a metaphor for some larger issues.  One of which is the theme of need.  More specifically, one’s individual need versus that of the world.  There is also the theme of protection–this is where we should focus on Siobhán’s decisions.” Solzy at the Movies

“While Sea Fever plays within familiar waters, it remains an enjoyable experience. Thrilling when need be, with all the trappings for a great late-night feature, it possesses a strong, singular vision. An assured directorial debut that has a potent message of humanity’s place in an environment that is constantly changing and adapting to a shifting climate.” Sordid Cinema

“Despite some blood and violence, there’s nothing terribly scary about the invading entity […] A more poetically handled film might have gotten away with such vagueness in service of metaphorical intent, but whatever its original intent, Sea Fever comes off as a familiar but lazy aquatic-peril thriller.” Variety

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