This review is spoiler-free.
During a perilous 24-hour mission on the moon, space explorers try to retrieve samples from an abandoned research facility steeped in classified secrets.
Firstly, I really love both the visual aesthetics and the amazing sound design of this series! This series does a wonderful job of capturing the ‘coldness’ of space and really reflects the isolation and solitude of the characters in such an incredibly unique setting.
While The Silent Sea is primarily a sci-fi mystery thriller, there are also plenty of horror elements scattered throughout the series which makes for a rich story and character moments. While there is nothing truly groundbreaking in this series in terms of story or premise, it is still incredibly enjoyable and well worth your time. There is plenty of mystery with more than enough twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing what will happen next!
The Silent Sea is directed by Choi Hang-yong, and the series is an adaption of his 2014 short film The Sea of Tranquillity, which he wrote and directed. As you’d expect, Hang-yong has much more time to stretch out his original story, this time written by Park Eun-kyo. Hang-yong does a fantastic job in creating the claustrophobic and isolated atmosphere that is a constant throughout the series. He also uses some unconventional methods with some of the framing elements that really help to unsettle the viewer.
The series has two co-leads. The first is Bae Doona (Sense 8, Kingdom) who plays Dr Song-Ji, an astrobiologist determined to uncover the truth of what happened to her sister on the research base and Gong Yoo (Squid Game, Train to Busan) as Han Yoon-jae, the exploration team leader in charge of the mission. These are two incredibly talented leads, both of whom have their own complex backstories that has a key part to play in the influence on the main story. Both Bae Doona and Gong Yoo are simply incredible from start to finish, delivering two powerful performances that complement each other’s characters wonderfully. There are also some good performances from the supporting cast with both Kim Sun-young (Crash Landing on You) and Heo Sung-tae (Squid Game) as the two clear stand-out performers.
In terms of the negatives, not many spring to mind. My only real complaint would probably be the use of the ‘beep’ noise for the oxygen counters. It’s a striking noise, and I think it was overused in some scenes and became rather annoying. But that’s about it! In the grand scheme of things, a few annoying beeps being the only drawback leaves the series in a good place, as the story, performances and visuals were all fantastic!
The Silent Sea is a claustrophobic and terrifying experience full of incredible performances backed by a thoroughly engrossing story. This is everything a sci-fi mystery thriller should be!