Survival horror just got a lot more… wet. The Boat (2018), directed by Winston Azzopardi and starring Joe Azzopardi, pits a lone sailor against an empty vessel that has a mind of its own. Seeing the boat adrift, the sailor climbs aboard to find everything but the crew. No good deed goes unpunished as he fights for his life aboard the lost ship.
It’s like a mix between the real-life missing crew of the Mary Celeste and 2002’s Ghost Ship. Man finds boat. Man does not find people. Boat turns out to be haunted. But it’s not just a spooky ghost Azzopardi has to survive; the boat genuinely has some issues, as the trailer points out. He tries to radio for help to no avail. An extremely dense fog keeps him from navigating the boat to a safer area, a task more and more necessary as a storm is seen on the horizon. Everything that can go wrong, does.
Of course, trailers are meant to reel you in with flashy scares and conflict. The Boat gives us that and much more as we watch a few jumpscares with calm ocean water in the background – unsettling to say the least. It’s a bit of a blurred line between what most would call horror and a survival thriller, but the menacing music and deceptively lovely atmosphere (both in boat and weather) is definitely enough to raise some heartrates, just like the water leaking through the hull of the fated ship. Because nothing is scarier than daytime horror.
In the Austin, TX area later this month? Catch The Boat’s world premiere as well as other features at Fantastic Fest Thursday to Thursday, September 20th to 27th. Visit The Boat‘s Fantastic Fest page for more information on showtimes.