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Cinema Recall Terror Tuesday: ‘The Lure’

The Lure is a 2015 horror, musical, comedy, fantasy about two cannibalistic mermaid sisters who make their way to Poland in the 1980’s and join a pop band.  When one of the sisters(now in human form) fall in love with one of the band members.  She’ll have to choose to remain silent forever or keep her voice.

Where do I begin with this one dear readers, because as I was writing this review I found myself having a lot of trouble thinking of a good starting point. Since I am pretty sure most of you have never seen this feature before, I want to tell you about how I found out about this. I was wandering around the Barnes and Noble, which is right across from the office I work at (Yes I have a day job if you can believe it). In the media department there was a sale on Criterion DVDs and Blu Rays. I was wandering around looking at the titles when an image of a mermaid looking out from a bathtub caught my eye. There was something horrifying yet beautiful about it. Sexual yet innocent that made me want to pick this up and when I read what the plot was I had to see this. Plus at fifty percent off, I really couldn’t go wrong on a blind buy.  So without seeing a single trailer or reading a single review I picked this off the shelf, purchased it and brought it home.

When a movie has been labeled as a multi genre feature, you are going to need a director that can balance everything right and for her very first movie. Director Agnieszka Smoczynska does a very good job with that task. The movie has a few sequences where it is heavy on the gore and violence when the two sisters feed on some unsuspecting travelers. It also has some very good musical moments like when the girls go shopping as well.

I knew there was going to be some music since I read the mermaids join a pop band in the 80’s. I was expecting a lot of early synth wave style pop and I got that. I just had no idea that they were going to have full musical numbers in it. I went along with it and enjoyed it heavily, but I have a sneaky feeling many of you reading this may not. Credits have to go out to songwriters Barbara Wronska and Zuzanna Wronska, whose real life as children sort of mirror the story in this one. As kids they grew up in a nightclub very similar to the one in the movie

The two ladies who portray the mermaid sisters Silver (Marta Mazurek) and Golden (Michalina Olszanska) are also very good.  Silver is very much the innocent one of the two. Her storyline of giving up her voice so that she can be a real woman sort of mirrors that of The Little Mermaid but in a much more twisted Frankenstein sort of way. Golden on the other hand enjoys very much devouring the hearts of humans as well as toying with the emotions of men who love her. For Silver, sex is something out of a fairy tale and for Golden, it’s out of sheer boredom. I like that they don’t always agree with the choices the other makes, but they still love and support each other no matter what.

After Silver gets her real human bottom half. I feel that the movie rushes a bit towards the ending. There was a fable that Golden tells Silver when she first meets the boy in the beginning. She tells her that if they have sex and he marries someone else, she will be turned into sea foam unless she eats him by daybreak on their wedding day. Of course right after, they do have sex, it shows him with another woman. Also, there is this song about how one of the woman in the band wants to poison the others  that didn’t make sense to me either.

The Lure is something unlike what you have ever seen before. It is a coming-of-age drama; it is a fantasy fairy tale; it’s a gruesome horror picture; it’s a big lavish musical feature; it has some great dance and punk rock tunes and it is a love story too. It’s a weird movie if you allow it to be so. I found it engaging at some points, confusing at others. I laughed at many moments and cried a bit at others too. On paper this movie should not work and yet for some reason it does. I would kind of like to see an American remake, but since this can’t be turned into a franchise with six or seven sequels that will never happen.

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