★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
A strange and wicked modern fairy tale that almost gets it right.
Can you give a horror movie a participation ribbon for trying hard? The Lure is like the weird little exchange student who you knew in middle school, who you thought was going to be exotic and charming, but later you just couldn’t place why you didn’t want to hang out with him anymore. Odd’s are, you’ve never heard of this curious Polish film. It’s a dark fairytale-horror-musical. Really! Does it work? Sort of.
Here are the points for creativity.
- It’s about carnivorous mermaid sisters. (Huh! Curious…)
- In 1980’s Poland. Mind you, this is Communist Poland, and it looks it.
- These mermaids join a band… (OK)
- … in a sleazy Polish strip club. (Interesting…)
- And they sing bad ABBA like songs.
- One of the sisters falls in love with one of her bandmates…
- … and the other sister decides to eat the club clientele. (The Horror!)
- But they both want to swim to America!
- And then, tragedy, old-school fairy-tale style! (Ah, of course.)
Sound like a winner? Well, it could have been. And, I think this movie has its proponents. But, the acting’s not great. The dialogue is hard to follow, which quite literally had me lost in translation. The songs aren’t great. And there are far too many bad wigs in this movie for it not to be distracting.
However, these are fantastic looking mermaids, and the limited CG was put to good use. So good, that I think there are practical tail costumes, and when the animations when they kick in are pretty seamless for this near zero-budget film. The transformation of woman to mermaid was done in cut-away *FLASH* cut-back action. So, there’s that. The broad story is quite timeless, in a Hans-Christian Anderson old-school way. You know, where the purpose of the story is to teach kids some painful truths, like “Don’t date the bass player of the band.” Timeless, right?
Bottom line, this film is weird. VERY Euro. So Euro, it’s hard to understand at times. It’s Little Mermaid, by way of Cabaret, by way of Little Shop of Horrors, by way of that other timeless classic, Species. Now, this might just be right up your alley, but for me, it was an alley too far.