There are an array of sailor superstitions around the world, one of the best known would be that redheads bring bad luck. This forms part of the basis to the science-fiction horror thriller Sea Fever.
English star Hermione Corfield stars as science student Siobhan who must embark on her field studies to complete her course. Siobhan is assigned to a fishing trawler, the Niamh Cinn-Oir, which is operated by a crew of six. When they soon discover Siobhan’s luscious red locks, conveniently hidden beneath a beanie until they’ve departed, the superstition starts to swirl and the crew warn of bad luck.
On their departure from port, the Captain of the ship receives a notice from the coast guard of an exclusion zone, an area where they must not pass through or fish it, which turns out to be smack bang on top of their favourite fishing spot. The Captain decides to ignore the exclusion notice and soon discovers the reason for the ban, and dire consequences that will follow.
Now, I’m quite the fan of horror and monster films, and thought this might put a different spin on the genre, but unfortunately it fell flat. The story was rather weak, with no great character development throughout the film. I wanted to feel a bond with the characters, but they were just too watered down. The makers also seemed to fall for too many typical horror tropes, which was a shame as I was hoping for them to explore new ideas. In all honesty, Sea Fever just felt like the 2017 film Life, but on a boat.
Aside from all that, Hermione Corfield still delivered a solid performance as Siobhan, portraying a young socially awkward girl who was thrust out of her comfort zone and forced to stand up and become a hero. Connie Nielsen was fantastic in her role of Co-Captain Freya, a strong, powerful woman who was the “real” boss of the ship. Connie showed all sorts of emotion throughout the film and proved her place as a veteran of the film and television industry. The ladies sure outshone the men in this film!
Sea Fever is a fun film but unfortunately missed the mark on being a stand out. Horror can be a tough genre to crack and I feel this just didn’t have the right ingredients to hit it out of the ball park.
Sea Fever can be viewed on demand as part of the Sydney Film Festival, running from June 10th to 21st.
Visit sff.org.au to find out more.