THE SWARM on The CW is a series described as an “environmental thriller”. That might sound a bit fluffy, but it’s eerily accurate. In fact, it’s almost a horror series, where we witness the world approaching the apocalypse. Also, it uses events taken from the real world as starting points. Read our review of The Swarm series here!

THE SWARM on The CW is a series that belongs in the genres of sci-fi, thriller, drama, and (unofficially) horror. It’s called an “environmental thriller”, which may not sound scary, but when it seems as if the entire planet is suddenly fighting against human beings on a very broad spectrum, then it’s damn effective.

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This series is made by several big production companies/streaming services. From the German ZDF to Hulu Japan and the Scandinavian-based Viaplay. To name just a few. This also results in the story unfolding in countries all over the globe. Suddenly, we all face dire challenges – some countries experience the same, while others have unique challenges. And it gets real crazy, real fast.

Continue reading our The Swarm series review below. The series premieres on The CW on September 12, 2023.

Nature fights back in The Swarm

During the first half of the series, you barely get an idea of what the title refers to. Mostly because so many different terrible things are happening at the same time. New animal species are discovered, while other familiar animals seem to have contracted an infection that is rapidly affecting humans. With fatal results.

This is COVID and Ebola on speed, and it’s happening in several countries at the same time. Seemingly too fast for any rational explanation – at first, anyway.

At its core, The Swarm shows how humanity’s brutal and reckless treatment of the oceans finally has a direct consequence that we cannot ignore. Nature simply fights back, and it fights swiftly and brutally.

ART IMITATES REALITY IN THE SWARM ON THE CW

In the very first episode of The Swarm, we hear about killer whales that suddenly start attacking boats. This is exactly what has been written about in the media this past summer. Read more here >

Later you’ll come to discover what the title actually refers to. Whatever the reason, science is what we turn to for answers. In The Swarm, we need science to figure out the answers to many things. And fast!. From why ships inexplicably sink to how shellfish are suddenly poisonous and figuring out why killer whales – and other whales – are attacking boats.

The Swarm (2023) – Review | The CW Series

International all-star cast

Okay, you may not know all the actors in The Swarm. However, if you’re a fan of genre productions, you’ll probably recognize quite a few. One such example is Cécile de France from the fantastic French horror movie High Tension / Haute Tension (2003). She plays a doctor who researches pathogens. In other words, microorganisms that cause disease and are toxic to humans. Her workload is crazy in The Swarm!

Also, there’s Oliver Masucci from the German Netflix series Dark in the series. He plays the captain of one of the ships that discovers the terrible (and insanely fast) development under the surface of the sea. Barbara Sukowa from Atomic Blonde, Servant and Hunters also stars in the series as the lead marine scientist.

Of course, there are also quite a few Scandinavian touches. Part of the story takes place in Norway, so it only makes sense.

Especially Swedish actor Alexander Karim (Tyrant) as the scientist Dr. Sigur Johansson, who has a leading role in the series. He delivers a very strong performance here that shows he should be getting even more English-speaking roles! In addition, Finnish Krista Kosonen (Beforeigners) also plays a big role in the story with Alexander Karim.

Watch The Swarm on The CW

The Swarm is based on the international bestseller written by Frank Schätzings. The series is written by Steven Lally (Strike Back), Marissa Lestrade (Deep State), Chris Lunt, and Michael A. Walker (Devils). The Swarm is a mini-series with eight 45-minute episodes.

Barbara Eder (Barbarians) directed four episodes, while Luke Watson (Ripper Street) and Philipp Stölzl (Erased) each directed two episodes. You’ll also find some heavy hitters among the producers. Including executive producers Mark Huffam (The Martian, Saving Private Ryan) and Ute Leonhardt (Killing Eve, Eat Pray Love).

It’s also worth mentioning that there are a number of established scientific advisers behind the series. Such as polar and deep-sea researcher Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius from the Max Planck Institute and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Also, the deep-sea researcher Jon Copley, a professor at the University of Southampton in England, is involved as an advisor.

The concept itself was extremely intriguing for me, but the execution was better than I had dared to hope for. It’s an extremely well-told and well-produced series that focuses on the fact that we really don’t have much power here on our blue planet. This alone should be reason enough to do right by our planet and take proper care of Mother Earth. The alternative is not one we want to experience!

Full disclosure: The Swarm is at its best at the beginning of the series, and many (if not most, based on the IMDb rating of each episode) are not happy with the ending. Check it out for yourself and enjoy that when it’s good, it’s actually great.

The Swarm will premiere on The CW on September 12, 2023.

Details

Directors: Barbara Eder, Luke Watson, Philipp Stölzl
Script: Steven Lally, Marissa Lestrade, Chris Lunt, Michael A. Walker
Cast: Alexander Karim, Cécile de France, Leonie Benesch, Joshua Odjick, Krista Kosonen, Takuya Kimura, Barbara Sukowa

Plot

Across the globe, strange happenings, borne out of the oceans, are mystifying and imperiling the world’s population. A group of scientists undertakes a terrifying mission to the depths of the Arctic Ocean to confront a deadly intelligent life force bent on human extinction.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard