The Reel Review

B+

This early 1900s period horror/sci-fi film is about a weather researcher sent on a year long assignment to a remote Antarctic island outpost in 1914, only to find himself besieged by a hoard of previously undiscovered aquatic creatures.

Although the story from French director Xavier Gens (Frontier(s), Hostile) drags a bit at times, it features beautiful cinematography, excellent performances and some truly impressive visual effects. The amphibious creatures – more realistic, vicious versions of mermaids – are quite fascinating. And British actor David Oakes (The Borgias, Victoria) gives a pretty compelling performance as the man whose life is up-ended the night after he arrives at the desolate outpost. If you prefer a more serious (and superior) look at aquatic/human interaction than 2017’s The Shape of Water, than this is a film worth seeing.

REEL FACTS

• Originally Stellan Skarsgård was going to play the role of Gruner, which ended up going to Ray Stevenson, who, like Skarsgård, appeared in Thor: The Dark World

• In the film, the photograph that David Oakes’ main character finds in the logbook left by his predecessor is a picture of Aura Garrido, the actress who plays the humanoid sea creature, Aneris

• Stevenson also appeared in the young adult Divergent sci-fi franchise that starred Shailene Woodley.

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