An unsung disaster epic explodes and becomes one of Netflix’s biggest hits

If there ever was a completely bespoke niche subgenre that consistently knocked it out of the park without attracting much mainstream attention, then the Scandinavian disaster epic would have to be at the top of the list, even if Netflix users finally did observed The North Sea.

Per FlixPatrolDirector John Andreas Andersen’s oil rig extravaganza has become one of the market-leading streaming service’s biggest hits, holding on for dear life and rising to number six on the global charts, a phenomenal return for a deeply underrated piece of escapism that creates much more excitement and thrills than many of Hollywood’s mega-budget efforts.

the burning sea
via magnetic release

A kind of spiritual successor The wave and sequel The quakeThe fact that Norway produced three acclaimed and widely loved feature films in a short space of time, all centered around catastrophic natural disasters, wasn’t on anyone’s bingo card, but we’d be happy to see them continue to do so if they maintain this level of quality.

In The North SeaA 50-year-old oil rig is damaged by a crack in the seabed, causing numerous explosions and falling debris. Unfortunately, this is a relatively minor problem once scientists figure out that a global event could be the endgame and a top team springs into action to prevent untold devastation.

With better reviews than anything Roland Emmerich has done in decades, and at a fraction of the cost. The North Sea may be a disaster on a storytelling level, but on Netflix it is anything but.

Lindsay Lowe

Lindsay Lowe is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Lindsay Lowe joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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