The King Tide: JoBlo visits the Newfoundland locations and interviews the cast and director

JoBlo recently had the opportunity to travel to Newfoundland and visit the filming locations for the new thriller, The King Tide.

A few weeks ago I received a rather intriguing invite. VVS Films, one of the biggest film distributors in Canada, invited to participate in a press junket for the new film, The King Tide, which was to be held in Newfoundland. As a proud Canadian, I was excited, as I had never visited the Maritimes before.

Indeed, the studio seemed to be rolling out the red carpet for the assembled press, with us being treated to a wonderful experience in St. John’s, Newfoundland, which included me being “screeched in” (watch it right here) at a local pub (located on St. George Street which has the highest amount of per capita bars per street in the country), which included drinking rum (count me in!), kissing a cod (sure, why not?) and eating baloney (ewww – gross). We also got to take a trip to scenic Bonavista, close to where the film was shot. While there, we were treated to an amazing five-course dinner at the Bonavista Social Club, with dishes that included the local snow crab and cod, lamb and more. It was like The Menu, but none of us died. Indeed, it was three days of wonderful food and excellent company.

The King Tide

Having seen The King Tide just before I left, I can see why VVS aggressively promoted the film. You can read my full review tomorrow, but it’s a pretty intriguing tale. In it, a small fishing village is revitalized when a baby washes up on the shore. The baby, who eventually is named Isla, is taken in by the town’s mayor (star of the Lethal Weapon TV reboot, Clayne Crawford) and his wife, (Lara Jane Chorostecki). Isla has mysterious healing powers, where just being around her can cure any illness or wound. She also is able to revitalize the cod fishing trade, making the town completely self-sufficient. As Isla grows into a young woman (played by Alix West Lefler, who’s starring in the upcoming Speak No Evil remake), she becomes almost a deity, with the town cutting itself off completely from civilization. But, when Isla’s powers begin to fail, the town becomes desperate, with the mayor’s mother-in-law (Frances Fisher), who was formerly ravaged by dementia, desperate to hold on to her new vitality.

It’s a pretty dark tale, with echoes of Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone present in how it meshes the supernatural with a classic morality tale. I was able to sit with the director, Christian Sparks, while in Newfoundland to discuss his take on the material and the way the story of child exploitation mirrors overdue conversations happening in the real world now since the release of the documentary series Quiet on Set. I was also thrilled to speak to the great Frances Fisher (Titanic, Unforgiven) about her key role in the film, with her initially sympathetic but slowly turning into a true predator as the film continues, leading to its highly unsettling end. Check out my interviews embedded at the head of this article!

The King Tide opens across Canada tomorrow, and is set for a U.S. release from Vertical shortly! Here are some pics from my travels:

Chris Bumbray
I’m a simple man. Give me a 5-course meal at a four-star restaurant and all the wine I can drink and I’m pretty happy.
The King Tide
Tee hee hee
Chris Bumbray
Can you see the old-school MK2 arcade game behind me?
Chris Bumbray

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.