Hell of a Cruise is a claustrophobic documentary that feels like one big scary horror movie.
This review of the Peacock original documentary film Hell of a Cruise does not contain spoilers.
In January of 2020, amid the COVID outbreak, people boarded the Diamond Princess cruise ship thinking they were on the verge of relaxing on their vacation. That was until they became prisoners on this floating ship, worried about whether or not they would ever get off. As someone who loves going on cruises, I am terrified to watch this documentary.
We briefly introduce some people about to set sail on the Diamond Princess cruise. It was a seventeen-day cruise, and these people were ready to experience their vacation. The chatter around the outbreak of COVID was around, but most passengers weren’t concerned about it.
I could not believe how these cruise lines handled these cruises. They did not stop running through the early stages of the pandemic. Also, refusing to refund anyone that didn’t want to board for safety reasons. Instead, the cruise lines would promise the guest on the phone that they would take plenty of precautions for all passengers.
One of the things that stood out the most about the documentary was the amount of footage they had from within the ship because people filmed while onboard. So you got a very personal look at the happenings on the ship and how it escalated. So you go from footage of people having the time of their life to the MASS chaos that followed. It was easily the best part of the documentary because you can hear anyone talk about something that went down, but to see it is a whole different thing.
The editors of this documentary do a brilliant job of making us feel the same claustrophobic feeling these passengers were going through. I give so much credit to the filmmakers for how you feel like you are watching a horror movie at times, but they smack you back down to reality to understand these people went through all of this. For much of this film, I was in disbelief at how mishandled this entire thing was.
Overall, Hell of a Cruise was a haunting yet fascinating look at one of the craziest stories from this COVID outbreak. It was like watching a horror movie unfold but with real-life consequences. The documentary won’t be for everyone as this is still fresh on people’s minds, but I recommend checking it out.
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