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The Burning Sea (Home Entertainment Review)

3 min read

Elysian Film Group Distribution

Anyone who has seen a movie (look it up, it's a thing), will know what to expect.

These are not the enormously scaled, high budget, bombastic disaster movies Hollywood sends us. There's no Dwayne Johnson, no Michael Bay, and there are generally only a few characters. And they are all the better for it.

acknowledges the quiet success of its sibling films, and (both strongly recommended by the way) on its poster. You'd be forgiven for expecting to see the same characters based on this, but unfortunately in this case we don't. That's not really a slight against this film, however, as we are given a new set of relatively normal humans to care about.

Elysian Film Group Distribution

Following the same format as other Norwegian disaster movies, we spend the first half slowly getting to know our family of characters. Sofia (Kristine Kujath Thorp) and her partner Stian (Henrik Bjelland) are making slow progress towards moving in together. Not least due to not wanting to make their home unstable for Stian's son Odin (Nils Elias Olsen). Sofia works with a submarine robot, able to be remote controlled through complicated environments. Stian is a rigger, just about to embark on two weeks at sea.

After an unexpectedly falls into the sea, taking its crew with it, Sofia is brought in to explore the wreck for survivors. Along with her co-worker Arthur (Rolf Kristian Larsen), whilst investigating the sunken drilling platform they find a little more than they bargained for. What follows is a race against time to get the remaining rigs evacuated and avert a disaster 350 times the size of the Deepwater Horizon.

The pattern is instantly recognisable of course, there is disbelief, both that such a disaster can happen, but also that anyone could have survived what has happened so far. Thankfully our heroes have enough faith and determination to defy these naysayers and attempt to save their loved ones.

Elysian Film Group Distribution

The tension builds beautifully, as we are given time to really care about these characters. By the time they are in true peril, you are not only convinced that they are going to die, but utterly dreading it. The final act, though not quite reaching the heights of its predecessors, is gripping and compelling.

All this is balanced with cultural relevance; Norway's connection to the sea is a theme running throughout, alongside environmental messages that are brilliantly on point. The environmental moves made feel like picking between two terrible options. With our slow move towards the point of no return with climate chance, it will be familiar to everyone. This is complimented by the hyper-realistic style of as a whole. It isn't overly dramatic. We don't see people diving into water as the rig explodes behind them; swimming beneath flames and emerging unscathed miraculously on the other side. Each step taken towards survival results in very real near death, injury, and tension you can chew on.

If you're already a fan of Scandisaster, The Burning Sea is definitely one to check out. It won't blow your mind quite as much as some of the earlier offerings but is absolutely worth your time. If you aren't a fan yet, why the hell not?

The at home release is sadly a vanilla affair. There is the option to watch the film with English dubbing, but it's of poor quality, and there are no bonus features.

The Burning Sea will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 25th of July.