BREAKING SURFACE (2020) Reviews of Norwegian survival thriller

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Breaking Surface is a 2020 Norwegian-Swedish survival thriller about two sisters that become trapped underwater on a winter diving trip.

Written and directed by Joachim Hedén, the movie stars Moa Gammel, Madeleine Martin, Trine Wiggen and Jitse Jonathan Buitnik.


A few days after Christmas, half-sisters Ida and Tuva set out on a winter dive in a remote part of the Norwegian coastline.

Towards the end of the dive, a rockslide traps Tuva underwater. As Ida surfaces to call for help, she discovers that the rockslide has struck above water as well, burying their equipment, phones and car keys–they are completely cut off from any chance of outside rescue.

As the frantic race for survival unfolds, Ida is put to the ultimate test of character and forcefulness. During Ida’s fight to save Tuva, a fractured sisterhood is exposed, and when all seems lost, the stakes rise beyond simple survival…


Breaking Surface will be issued On-Demand on December 15th 2020 by Doppelganger Releasing.


“The gorgeous cinematography by Eric Börjeson for underwater sequences keeps the action crystal clear. The serene depths mask the dangers, and that translates well on-screen […] Breaking Surface makes for a non-stop, unrelentingly intense thriller that never struggles to find new ways to prolong the answer to whether these sisters will make it out alive.” Bloody Disgusting

“Deftly capturing the glacial beauty of the Norwegian icy scenery, but also flaunting glorious, if uncomfortable and claustrophobic abyssal shots, Breaking Surface is a dexterously-crafted, solidly-acted, unexpectedly convincing, and highly intense stuck-into-the-deep survival thriller…” CineMarvellous!

“Though it suffers from a climax that draws itself out a little too long, dampening its emotional payoff ever so slightly in the process, overall Breaking Surface is a satisfying tale of survival against insurmountable odds featuring beautiful performances and enough claustrophobic atmosphere to make you gasp for air in the best way possible.” Killer Horror Critic

Breaking Surface tries to remain as realistic as possible especially when it comes to the technical stuff. However, it kind of breaks under the high pressures of such a simplistic concept and struggles for air after halfway through. It starts to drag on and all this pressure that’s been building up kind of disappears.” Rabbit Reviews

” …it will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping for breath. It is wonderfully shot and well-acted with majestic scenery that succeeds in putting the weight of the ocean on your chest. It is one hell of a survival story and an emotional rollercoaster that had me in tears… I haven’t felt this claustrophobic since watching The Descent.” The Scariest Things

“Most viewers probably will surmise and/or assume how the story will wrap up, but Breaking Surface consistently surprises as it develops into a gripping story of survival. These women have their frustrations with each other, which they are forced to put aside, but those differences linger in the air (or, rather, water), churning up the narrative and adding to the tense atmosphere.” Screen Anarchy

Main cast and characters:

Moa Gammel … Ida
Madeleine Martin … Tuva
Trine Wiggen … Anne
Jitse Jonathan Buitnik … Dive Instructor
Remi Alashkar … Tanker Captain’s Assistant
Alessio Barreto … Tanker Captain
Irma Jenny Hallberg … Young Ida

Filming locations:

Lofoten Islands, Norway
Lites Film Studios, Belgium

Technical details:

82 minutes


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