Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sideworld: Terrors of the Sea

Summer is here, the weather is glorious, and what better place to spend your time than the coast? But away from the crowded, golden, sandy beaches, you'll discover a whole new world. A world rich in stories of the supernatural, thanks to our unique and sometimes turbulent relationship with the sea. These stories have a different feel to the ones with their roots inland, somehow darker. A little more feral. The spirits here play by their own rules. 
Want to wade into this new area of the paranormal, and cool off in the hot weather by sending chills down your spine? Well, you're in luck because Director George Popov and Rubicon Films are back with the latest in their Sideworld documentary series, Terrors of the Sea. If you didn't have Thalassophobia before watching this well-crafted and beautiful documentary, you will have after.

The Plot
Like my review of Sideworld's first documentary, Haunted Forests of England, I don't want to give away too much. This is a no spoilers zone so as not to ruin anything for anyone wishing to watch the documentary for themselves. After the treat that was Haunted Forests of England, I was really excited when they announced Terrors of the Sea. And, as predicted, they didn't disappoint.

Ghost Ships
Some of the most frightening spirits are things rather than people. This chapter covers a variety of ships, from the iconic Flying Dutchman to an ominous Spanish Gallion. Are these ships truly spirits? Or are they just doomed to reenact their demise for eternity? 

Sea Monsters
After this, you might reconsider your next paddle because here there be monsters. We've explored more of the moon than we have our own oceans, Sideworld introduces us to some of the many fantastic beasts that have been spotted over the years, but by the end of this chapter you might find the real monsters aren't the ones you expect.

The sea may be beautiful, but sadly it's a dangerous place for the unwary or unfortunate. Some of these spirits may have lost their lives on land, and some at sea, but none have any intention of resting in peace.

Taking many forms, are these really creatures of myth or are there more to these (fish) tales that meet the eye? Here we discover that despite their alleged habit of drowning sailors, it's usually the mermaids themselves who are mistreated by humans. While some of these creatures may have treated their captors with kindness, others have not been quite as merciful.

About the Documentary
Following the same style as the first documentary, four subjects linked to the main topic are broken down into a chapter-like format, which leads to a smoother viewing experience. This makes it easier to find and re-watch the tales being told and to find where you left off if you have to stop watching for some reason. I've already found this feature incredibly helpful living in a busy house. I'll often find myself pulled away from my computer for some reason or another, and being able to hop straight back where I left off has been fantastic.
Like the first documentary, Terrors of the Sea is filmed on location, and the cinematography is, once more, perfect. The stark beauty of the rocky coastlines and the restless ocean takes on an almost dream-like quality, shot with the same attention to detail you might find in a movie. Whether they're filming wrecks or lonely Cornish coves, you're left with no doubt that these are places where lost spirits roam and strange beasts lurk. This is complemented by a mix of atmospheric historical photos, eerie artwork from Todor Popov and other artists, and an elegant and haunting soundtrack by Matthew Laming, adding even more depth to the tales being told.
George Popov returns as our narrator, accompanied once more by actors William Poulter and Suzie Frances Garton. The stories they present blend historical ghost stories, facts and folklore. Expertly curated and narrated, chilling, and highly enjoyable. At the same time they're delivered with a care and reverence not often seen in programs about the paranormal. While there are a few stories here that I'd heard of before, I was delighted to discover that there are even more that are new to me. The Sideworld team put a lot of hard work into researching further information to share with their viewers, which has really paid off. 
This combination creates an enchanting program, the perfect mix of spine-chilling stories, myths and folklore. With its unique style, Sideworld: Terrors of the Sea has a fresh feel whilst still feeling like a selection of classic ghost stories. I can see this series becoming a cult favourite in and out of the paranormal community, one that people will return to for years to come.

Do I recommend checking this out? Very much so, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't already watched this episode more than once. Several times actually. Informative and fascinating, this documentary isn't just binge-worthy; it's part of a series you'll find yourself hooked on. Whether you're watching alone, with family or with your friends, Sideworld: Terrors of the Sea is a highly entertaining watch.

Available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Director: George Popov
Producer: Jonathan Russell
Starring: George Popov, Suzie Frances Garton and William Poulter
Music: Matthew Laming
Cinematography: Richard Suckling
Featuring art by Todor Popov, and others
Runtime: 1 hour and 11 minutes
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Made by: Rubicon Films

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing, I love how you described a good day in summer. It's cool documentary and first time to know about it. Thank you for your lovely review!