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The Lure

The 2015 mature Polish film The Lure (Córki dancingu) is a trippy and gruesome fantasy-horror-musical that commits to its weirdness with relish.

The story is about a pair of mermaid sisters, Golden and Silver, who travel onto land and become singer-dancers with a band in a nightclub. These mermaids gain legs when dry and eat the flesh of living creatures, but more importantly they are intelligent predators who are curious about the human world, making them far from the usual options of naive fishes out of water, nor full-on monsters. Golden and Silver have a loving relationship, too, though it changes over the course of the film as the two relate to and want different things from their experience on land.

At times this film feels like an extended music video, with the characters singing to each other and to the camera, sometimes in dreamlike states. It's all beautifully shot and rendered -- even the violent, nightmare fuel parts.

Of note, Silver's storyline ends up echoing the Hans Christian Andersen story of The Little Mermaid, whereby she falls in love with the handsome young man in the band, and decides to trade (literally) her tail for legs against Golden's warning that it isn't a good idea. And let's just say that there's a certain bittersweet catharsis in the way that that story wraps up, which I feel was exactly the way it needed to for this pair of mermaid sisters.

There are a couple of underwater segments but they're very brief, since all of Golden and Silver's story takes place on land. That said, Golden and Silver are seen with their tails quite often and, because this takes place in a world where merfolk are known, those tails are involved in some scenarios that rarely, if ever, get depicted in live-action film.

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