Plot: A small cabaret has landed an incredible new act, two young women named Silver (Marta Mazurek) and Golden (Michalina Olszankska), beautiful sirens who are more than just the usual lounge singers. These girls look normal in most ways, but have no sex organs, as they’re mermaids. If the girls are splashed with water, they take their natural forms and grow massive tails, revealing them as truly mystical beings. At first the two are backup singers and the crowds are dazzled by both their talent and unusual quirks, so they’re promoted to their own act. But soon, things take a darker turn when Silver starts to fall in love with a human and Golden experiences some visceral desires to shed blood. Silver faces some difficult choices, as she wants to have her tail removed and be a normal human, but Golden is certain that the old stories are true, meaning if Silver does so, she will lose her voice. And if her romance with the human doesn’t go as planned, it could lead to an even darker fate. Will the bond of these unique sisters hold strong, or will the lure of a new life be too much to resist?
Entertainment Value: A dark, horror/musical take on The Little Mermaid, The Lure is a stunning, dynamic movie. The basic premise here is familiar, but the movie adds so much unique style and atmosphere, this never feels like a rerun, more of a fresh vision of a timeless tale. This is certainly not in the same vein as Disney’s fairy tale spin, as this is a dark, visceral approach with a sharp feminist angle. I loved the dim vision of glamour presented in The Lure, a dusty, but beautiful 80s texture that really reels in your senses. This holds true of the movie’s visuals in general, creating a world that is bright, but also muted. I found the visuals to be big part of the atmosphere of The Lure, which allows this interesting thread to unspool in such a rich, dynamic world. The attention to detail is remarkable, from subtle touches in the production design to the camera angles, this is a visual feast. The performances are great as well, especially from leads Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska, who bring the mystical mermaids to life in dark, memorable fashion. The girls have an eerie, animalistic presence, but retain immense charm as well, ideal for this kind of role. I know some will avoid this because of the musical numbers, but they’re well crafted and given that the movie takes place in a cabaret, they’re natural inclusions. I had a lot of fun with The Lure and found it to be a beautiful, haunting picture, so it is highly recommended to those who appreciate the darker side of offbeat cinema.
The mermaids are topless in most scenes and show off their smooth crotches, which look like a Barbie doll’s privates. Later scenes reveal more topless characters and some full frontal nakedness, but this is never graphic. A sex scene between Golden and a female police officer offers some interesting moments, especially when contrasted with the issues Silver endures in her romance. The mermaids here are savages at heart, so of course some blood is spilled in the course of the tale. Golden has a few violent bursts that produce some bloodshed, though never overly graphic stuff. A medical scene involves a girl seen cut in half, then the actual process of cutting another girl in half, which sprays the red stuff all over the place. So there is violence and bloodshed, but not a lot and it never that intense or graphic. The writing is quite good and has some memorable lines, as well as some fun musical routines. The tone allows for some dark humor, but stays close to the serious line, rarely feeling over the top or off the rails. As such, not much of the dialogue is wild or overly memorable. Even so, it is well written, so don’t let the score fool you here. The premise here is a wild one however, giving us two eerie, memorable leads to soak in. How the movie handles some of the narrative’s elements can be on the interesting side, but not all that insane. But I do think between the remarkable leads, dusty take on the 80s, and how the mermaid elements are explored, The Lure earns a few points on the craziness scale.
Overall Insanity: 4/10