TIFF review: Sea Fever

Neasa Hardiman's minimalist riff on Alien and The Thing is an effective run through familiar territory

SEA FEVER DISC D: Neasa Hardiman. Ireland/Sweden/Belgium/UK. 89 min. Sep 5, 9:15 pm, Scotiabank 4 Sep 6, 9:45 pm, Scotiabank 11 Sep 14, 7:15 pm, Scotiabank 7. Rating: NNN

The debut feature from veteran TV director Hardiman is a minimalist riff on Alien and The Thing, with the crew of an Irish trawler encountering something terrible on a routine fishing run. While the film breaks no new ground, it’s a satisfying run through familiar territory, offering reconfigured versions of scenes horror fans will know by heart, and interesting variations on the mix of characters. 

Hermoine Corfield, who’s had small roles in recent Mission: Impossible and Star Wars movies, brings an intriguing hesitancy to the marine-biologist hero Penny Dreadful’s Jack Hickey and Greyzone’s Ardalan Esmaili pop in smaller roles.

Hardiman’s script offers a couple of tense set pieces and gives its characters credible motivations for their actions, even when those actions are highly questionable. And now that she’s proven she’s good with covers, I’d love to see her tackle a truly original story. 

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