2019 / horror, sci-fi / 1h 29min / directed by Neasa Hardiman / country: Taiwan, Malaysia, Ireland | USA | UK | Sweden | Belgium / language: English
Siobhán is a serious student of marine biology. She’s focused, passionate, and more comfortable around lab equipment than people. When she reluctantly joins the crew of a fishing trawler to gain valuable field experience for her doctorate, she finds herself among a rowdy group of wizened fishermen…all of whom have plenty to teach her about the hardships of the sea, including the risk of sea fever from lack of sleep and prolonged time in confined spaces. Immediately out of place with her naiveté, studiousness, and red hair (bad luck according to fisherman lore), Siobhán finds her scientific coldness at odds with the stubborn, familial bond of the crew members. When their boat gets marooned after hitting a mysterious object, Siobhán discovers that something sinister might be happening, but struggles to convince the crew of her dark interpretation of their situation. (Source)
Neasa Hardiman’s first narrative feature is patient, unsettling, and beautifully shot. She coaxes dynamic performances out of each of her actors, most recognizably Connie Nielsen as the boat’s hardened matriarch and Dougray Scott as her wily partner in crime. In a vein of psychological terror as visceral and unnerving as ALIEN, SEA FEVER builds tremendous tension using its narrow spaces, colorful cast of characters, and eerie atmosphere. It’s a fresh, haunting take on the creature feature that combines psychological terror with the far more tangible, fleshy, tentacled kind we’ve come to expect.
–Logan Taylor, Fantastic Fest
Embarking on a crusty fishing trawler with its own crusty crew is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but for the tenacious young marine biologist Siobhán (Hermione Corfield), it’s a surefire way to get firsthand knowledge for her thesis, which involves sea life, algorithms and ecological phenomena, or something like that. But what’s supposed to be a simple field study turns into a grisly maelstrom when the ship, led by a wind-whipped captain (Dougray Scott) and his wife (Connie Nielsen), heads into forbidden waters. Soon enough, they sail smack into the mouth, or more like the mouths, of a mysterious creature that latches onto their trawler and won’t let go. . . . “Cronenberg meets Cousteau” is how the presenter at Toronto, where Sea Fever world premiered in the Discovery section, pitched the film, and there are moments when it holds up to that promise, especially when delving out bits of gelatinous gore.
–Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter