Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3/5
When Alien released back in 1979, it changed the face of horror forever. This film still holds up to this day, thrusting a bunch of misfit astronauts into an impossible situation and leaving them to figure it out.
Since then there have been many efforts on both the big and small screen to emulate that. More recently, Origin and Nightflyers have both tried (and failed) to capture the essence of Alien but no one has managed to grab hold of what it truly means when “in space, no one can hear you scream.”
The Silent Sea then is a particularly bitter pill to swallow because for the first 4 episodes, it does feel like a spiritual successor. Creepy, unnerving and incredibly atmospheric, The Silent Sea has glimmers of Alien right the way through its run-time but sadly the second half falls apart.
The story here takes place in the future, with Earth suffering from a lack of water. People are getting ill, what little water left is being rationed off, courtesy of a class system, and there seems to be little hope.
A thin glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel comes from a planned mission to the moon, intent on retrieving a sample from an abandoned space station and bringing it back safely to Earth. Fronting this mission is brilliant astrobiologist Jian. She’s joined by Captain Han, Doctor Hong, Lieutenant Taesuk and a whole bunch of other characters.
When they eventually make their way onto the space station, they soon realize that things are not what they seem.
The Silent Sea excels during these quiet chapters, with long, drawn out shots of dark hallways and slowly drip-feeding the mystery. The logical jumps at times are still eyebrow raising but not to the point of shattering your immersion. That is, until late on in the game when secrets are unveiled.
Now, I won’t go into specifics here but everything from cloning and double-crossing agents are thrown into the mix and personally, it doesn’t work as effectively as it should. The explanations are pretty weak; a half-baked concept that actually hurts the show’s integrity.
This weak characterization is something that cripples The Silent Sea right the way across its run-time. Central pillars like Jian and Captain Han have good arcs, whereas Taesuk just sorta follows along with whatever his orders are.
I do appreciate that these guys have a mission to do but the early episodes, which see the group split and drip-feed bits of exposition about their own lives alongside the actual mystery, feel organically driven and appear to be setting a foundation for more rounded journeys. This really isn’t helped by the fact that this show ends so ambiguously, leaving it up to you to figure out if the astronauts saved Earth or not.
Given the stacked cast going into this one, The Silent Sea will undoubtedly draw the views. Perhaps not right over Christmas but after the festivities have died down, I can see this one picking up a bit of steam. Unfortunately the good vibes early on dissipate into a logic-breaking carnival ride that recklessly rockets through its set pieces. It’s still enjoyable – especially if you switch off and ignore the contrivances and logical jumps – but it’s not quite the nail-biting horror it so easily could have been.
Verdict - 5/10