From Fantastic Fest: “The Boat”

I’m happy to post my “spoiler free” review of Winston Azzopardi’s The Boat which just made its World Premier at Fantastic Fest tonight. Winston co-wrote the Boat with his son Joe Azzopardi who also stars in the film.

“A lone fisherman, lost in the deep mist, boards an abandoned sailboat. Finding no signs of life, he emerges back on deck only to discover his own boat has disappeared. What follows is a nightmarish journey in which he becomes imprisoned inside as the boat presses on into unknown waters.”

The Boat is a well-paced, suspense thriller featuring a smart, able-bodied lead, challenged at every moment to think on his feet and use his wayfaring skills to battle a mysterious supernatural foe.

The soothing scenery, soft colors, spare soundtrack and naturalistic sound design lulled me into a false sense of relaxation that soon knocked me off kilter. Bathing in the serene notion of following the journey of a handsome fisherman leaving a picturesque seaside port for a day of fishing.As the film progressed, my jaw tightened as each mystery and challenge befell our hero. Similarly the cinematography gave me the sense that I was right there sharing expansive, lovely views of the ocean, then experiencing life-threatening obstacles along with our protagonist.If you enjoy concise, thoughtful thrillers driven by logic with a “classic ghost story vibe” and low gore factor I think you’ll enjoy The Boat as much as I did.