The Lure (2015) Poster

(2015)

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9/10
Excellent film, even if you don't speak Polish
celempke26 April 2016
This is a solidly great film. It delivers on everything it promises - beautiful, original creature effects, a real sense of menace, boobs, and a fantastic musical score - and blithely throws in a few extras, like well-developed, interesting characters, a wonderful surreality, beautiful visuals, and a legitimately new twist on a story as old as the hills.

If there's any small criticism I have of this film, it's that a couple times there are characters that appear suddenly, do something, and then vanish, only to reappear later. There is no explanation of these characters, sometimes not even a name. I don't mind the lack to linear reality, but I did find myself asking questions about how these individuals fit into the greater story, and whether explanatory scenes had been cut. The only other not-positive thing I could say is that the dolphin noises are maybe a little silly.

That's honestly it. I really really enjoyed this movie, and I'm so glad the Calgary Underground Film Festival showed it. It needs more publicity!

In fact, I'm currently very frustrated because I can't find this movie or its soundtrack available anywhere. There's a song in the middle of the film that I'd love to listen to again, the 'Bloody Gloomy' song, and neither the clip nor the audio seem to exist online. Actually, I would love to watch the whole movie again; it's a very rich film, visually, with a lot of attention paid to little details like props and blocking and costumes. Especially as I was reading subtitles, I feel like I could gain a lot from a second viewing. I can only hope a North American distributor picks it up, as I would like to legitimately buy it and support Ms. Smoczynska. Good cinema deserves to be supported!

Which brings me to my last point.

This is actually my first review on IMDb, and I have to admit I'm leaving it partly out of frustration with the only other review for this film. If you don't like musicals, don't go see musicals! And if you see that a movie is classified as a musical, and you don't like musicals, and you go and see the musical anyway, PLEASE don't leave a negative review on the internet just because the MUSICAL that you CHOSE to see had MUSIC in it. That's like giving a horror movie a low score because it was scary! Come on now. You're discouraging people from going to see a perfectly good film because you don't like its genre, rather than any inherent flaw in the film itself. That's hardly fair. I hope people looking this movie up will give it a chance - it deserves much, much higher than a 3. I promise!
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7/10
The Lure (2015)
rockman18218 July 2017
Not going to lie, I had no idea about this film till I saw the upcoming artwork for the release of this film on Criterion Collection. I was instantly intrigued. Mermaids? Hell yeah! I don't think I've seen anything from Polish cinema; I only really watch foreign films when there is a good amount of buzz for a film and I feel I need to see it. I have to say this film is weird and bizarre but overall I felt it was quite creative despite not always hitting the right notes (not a pun on this being a musical, I swear).

The film is about two beautiful mermaids who befriend a rock band and then use their condition to become part of the group and entertain fans. Along the way one of the mermaids falls in love with a group member and longs to become a human to win his affection. The other has blood lust and is out to slash the throats and eat the hearts of men. Visually the performance scenes and the presentation of other dark scenes are done wonderfully.

I thought the film had a nice mix of being a horror film, a fantastical film, and a rock opera. The music was often catchy although I wasn't sure about the lyrics at all times (since they were very literal). The film is fairly erotic and captivating mainly due to the beauties of the two leads. The film does well to bring in mermaid lore and showing them as violent even if they may look beautiful. It basically felt like a horror take of The Little Mermaid at times.

My only concern is the film felt kind of imbalanced since it seemed fluid and didn't have a strong sense of accomplishing anything. Scenes just occur one into the next and seem like a progression without any real motivation. It's still a highly imaginative venture one that left an imprint, as I am sure was the intention. I'm not sure if I will pick it up on Criterion blu-ray but I am pretty pleased with the sort of outlandish nature of what was presented.

7.5/10
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8/10
don't take it too serious and you will love it
trashgang13 January 2018
This Polish flick is a weird one. I mean, the story I can dig but being some kind of horror filled with a musical overlook makes it a rare flick to watch. The story itself is rather simple and it's some kind of love story but what is happening with the two lovers, well, it's a dark fairy tale.

Two mermaids come ashore and are starting to work in a strip club. So far so good but mermaids can't fall in love with humans and when one does she is told to kill her lover. What do happens is for you to find out.

The effects are really good, you would indeed believe that they are real mermaids. They both have a special face to make it more believable and they areen't shy to show their naked body. The thing that can make people turn it off is the fact that it is also some kind of musical. The mermaids do sing in a local band but sometimes other actors start singing. That fact make it hard for horror geeks to watch it. But if yoy aren't going to take it seriious then you can watch it easily. There's a bit of red stuff but not that much but it's the strong script that keep you attached to the screen. I loved it.

Gore 0/5 Nudity 2/5 Effects 3,5/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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6/10
A musical with sirens, cabaret, and a plot-should be awful, but its not!
ElectronWrangler3 December 2016
One would think that a story of predatory mermaids taking a holiday in a seedy cabaret could only be a disaster, but the filmmakers made it work here. This is a bit of a dark movie. I wish I understood Polish, because the subtitled lyrics of the songs were clunky compared with the fine voices of the leads playing the siren sisters.

Most of the musical numbers and dancing were well-choreographed, but a couple of sequences didn't quite gel. A bit less time is devoted to developing the most critical romance of the movie than it needed, which unfortunately lets a bit of air out of the ending.

The visuals and effects were surprisingly good. The mermaid tails especially were well done, with details such as broken scales and scars adding chilling realism. Be warned that some parts of the movie are a bit gruesome; the critical difference between traditional mermaids and their darker cousins is made clear on several occasions. Younger children probably shouldn't watch.

There are quite a few movies written around mermaids, but this is the first I have seen about sirens. Hollywood, take note-"The Lure" demonstrates that this area has a lot of dramatic potential.

All in all, definitely worth a one-time watch.
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8/10
Makes a splash
gizmomogwai4 August 2017
There's been a rather polarizing response to this film, and perhaps it's not hard too see why. The Lure, a horror-musical mermaid movie (yes, really), made the rounds through the Fantasia Film Festival, to international release, and then to The Criterion Collection. But some people aren't buying. It is strange- that's part of the interest- but horror-musicals aren't unprecedented. The Wicker Man got there first, all the way back in 1973.

The Lure boasts a lot of visual appeal, and not just in the frequently topless young woman. The colour scheme is sumptuous and poetic throughout. The music is actually engaging, though I don't usually go in for musicals. The mermaids themselves have a shocking beauty to them, a kind of animalistic viciousness scary and seductive all at once. The story, though somewhat simplistic, goes down well. Even if you're not interested in ponying up the dough for the Blu-ray, it's worth heading to Criterion's YouTube channel and investing $3.99. If you're in the mood, this will hit.
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7/10
A deranged musical that's worth giving a shot
ReganRebecca3 April 2017
It was hard picking a rating for the movie because the highs are so high and the lows are so low. One thing is for sure though, The Lure is definitely worth seeing, preferably on the big screen.

The film starts on the banks of a dirty river where a family are singing and drinking. They encounter two young girls in the water, sirens who sing about wanting to be lifted out of the water. The family, who turn out to form a band in a sleazy cabaret, see an opportunity to use the girls for their own purposes and they soon have them performing as a sort of singing/strip tease act the highlight of which is when at the end of their song they dive into the water and their land legs transform bag into their fish tails.

Let's get one thing straight: the script for The Lure isn't big on making sense. Characters drop in and out to explain exposition in a ham-handed fashion, the musical numbers are scattered infrequently throughout the movie and the English lyrics are difficult to parse and seem to have little relation to what's going on on screen.

Yet somehow the movie still contains a lot of charm. First time director Agnieszka Smoczynska seems to be having a ball co-ordinating the cheap glitzy glamour of the musical numbers. Actresses Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska are great in their roles as sister sirens Silver and Gold imbuing them with innocence even when their sleazy guardians use them both sexually and financially.

The movie flits with deeper themes like emotional heartbreak, sisterhood, exploitation, sex, work etc. but the script never gives more than a handful of minutes to each issue so they're never fully explored. That's too bad but at the same time if you turn your brain off and just try to enjoy the movie you're in for a wild ride like nothing you've ever seen before.
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Intriguing But Never Engaging. Aesthetically Pleasing But Never Alluring.
CinemaClown29 July 2017
Coalescing the elements of horror, comedy, romance, musical, fantasy & coming-of-age drama into one abstract & ambitious fairytale, The Lure is an art-house endeavour that brims with fresh ingredients but it isn't a film for all. While some may be enamoured by its uniqueness, others will despise it for its muddy premise.

Set in Warsaw during the 1980s, The Lure follows a pair of mermaid sisters who are adopted by a family of musicians and are soon enlisted for gigs at the nightclub they regularly perform at. While one of them seeks companionship with the humans, the other is unable to escape her bloodthirsty nature and kills people with zero remorse.

Directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska, The Lure is no doubt arresting from the visual standpoint and adds few new things to the mermaid lore but it also becomes repetitive after a while and is unable to immerse the viewers into its tale or make them invest in the characters inhabiting it. Also, there is no explanation for the significance of its 1980s setting.

The atmosphere is mysterious & sexually charged, songs are intriguing & tuneful, romance subplot feels forced, while the horror part is only present in bits n pieces. The chemistry between the two girls playing the mermaids is electric and fascinating to watch but the rest of the cast barely has any meat on them, and their presence makes no difference whatsoever.

On an overall scale, The Lure is a finely envisioned & well conceptualised idea but it's also poorly executed. Its plot is intriguing but never engaging, its images are aesthetically pleasing but never alluring, and although the effort is commendable, it's never emotionally involving. Promising & flavourful at first, it doesn't take long for The Lure to turn into a pungent smelling sea foam.
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7/10
Very enjoyable
bbgon22 April 2016
I just came from a screening of this movie at the filmPolska festival in Berlin. I enjoyed it more than I expected, because the film description made me a bit apprehensive. But it turned out very good! I enjoyed the unexpected mix of comedy, drama, music, horror, fairy tale and a bit of eroticism. It also had a nice flair of the 1980s Poland. The visual part of the film is great: the mermaids are very realistic (if you can say that about a mermaid), with long and heavy fishtails, and the actresses give a great performance. Despite their prettiness, the mermaid sisters look inhuman, animalistic. Mermaids are said to sing extraordinary beautiful song to attract men (and then kill them, heh), so I think it was a difficult task to create music to reflect this. However, it worked brilliantly. I was also pleasantly surprised by the subtle eroticism which never bordered with vulgarity. (It was also great to see a love scene between two women, I didn't expect it from a Polish movie.) Great job!
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6/10
Hard to Label
cliffordo-3323414 June 2017
Foreign films can be so refreshing. So let's see. It's about mermaids. Fantasy. That eat people. Horror. Who fall in love. Love story. And there's lots of singing and dancing. Musical. The songs are decent, but the lyrics sound like they were written by a crack addict. Could it really have lost that much in the translation? Oh, its Polish, so its subtitled. The acting and directing are generally well done. However, it feels like they took it out of the oven and released it before the film was done. So sometimes, it is touching and beautiful, with a classy European style, and other times, it is stupid beyond words. It is a take-off on the myth about the mermaid who tries to be a human girl when she falls in love. And that is all about sacrifice on the one hand, and being true to our nature on the other. A very unusual movie, especially for a director's debut film.
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6/10
dark erotic horror musical fable
SnoopyStyle7 October 2018
It's 80's Poland. Two mermaids, Silver and Golden, are lured on shore. They join a strip act in a nightclub. Silver falls for Mietek and risks her life to be with him.

This is a Polish film reimagining the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Little Mermaid. It's a dark erotic horror musical fable. It's doing a little too much and gets a little disjointed. I would drop the carnivorous nature, and the musical. Others may see it differently. I couldn't figure out whether to fear for the mermaids and be afraid of the mermaids. The shifting can be jarring. I get the musical aspect's connection to the story but it doesn't really fit. The world building is also a bit muddled. It's somewhat confused whether people know about mermaids or not and the era does not get infused into the story. This is definitely ambitious even if it's too ambitious.
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7/10
I'm Officially Off Sushi Now
evanston_dad19 January 2018
Those who feel that there just aren't enough horror musicals about mermaids these days need look no further than "The Lure."

These mermaids do sing, as does everyone else in the movie, but if you're looking for big Broadway ballads of the kind belted out by Ariel, you might be disappointed. And these mermaids aren't quite as lovable as Daryl Hannah. Remember that scene in "Splash" when she tears apart a lobster with her teeth. Well let's just say these mermaids don't limit themselves to lobsters.

"The Lure" is most definitely not going to be to everyone's...ahem...taste, but I found myself mostly fascinated by its hypnotic rhythms, especially when it breaks into song, and especially when those songs are set in the nightclub at which our two sirens become part of the floor show. The film feels ultimately like an experiment that doesn't completely work, but there's enough about it that does to make it worth watching. And there are also some serious themes about what young women are asked to sacrifice, or at least think they have to sacrifice, in order to have what they want.

Grade: B
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6/10
A weird horror movie, but fitting because the monster is a mermaid.
subxerogravity10 February 2017
Two mermaids end up in Poland to work at an adult night club. One begins to have feelings for a man which is a no no as humans are nothing but food to be eaten. Something the other fish lady understands too well.

It could have been more horrifying but the level of strange was too up there for that. It was like the only knowledge the polish had of these mythical creatures came form the Disney version of the Little Mermaid as they're was a lot of singing and dancing that pops out of no where.

It was like a strange acid trip that was more humorous that horrifying, lying somewhere between the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Sweeney Todd.

It has it's grotesque moments and acts as a modern day Grimm fairy tale. A very enjoyable strangle unique experience.

I like it.

http://cinemagardens.com
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10/10
A must for cinephiles
forni-n16 June 2017
I truly believe "The Lure" to be an authentic movie that invites the audience to experience a great cinematic delight. It is original in its settings and narrative, with interesting characters and incredible scenes. The movie gives us the pleasure of the unexpected. Highly recommendable and a must for cinephiles.
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8/10
A Wild Foreign Musical
david_rudy_lee24 May 2019
This was a film I heard a few podcasts talk about and even though musicals aren't really my cup of tea, ones I like I tend to really like. I was even more intrigued when one of my favorite podcasters had it listed near the top of his year end when it came over to the United States. The synopsis is in Warsaw, a pair of mermaid sisters is adopted into a cabaret. While one seeks love with humans, the other hungers to dine on the human population of the city.

We start this film off with a band that is hanging out by a body of water. The two males, Perkusista (Andrezej Konopka) and Mietek (Jakub Gierszal) hear beautiful singing coming from the water. This is from a pair of mermaids, Srebrna (Marta Mazurek) and Zlota (Michalina Olszanska). Their song is enticing the men and asking them to help them on to land. With the two males is the third member of the band, Wokalistka Krysia (Kinga Preis). She starts to scream, breaking the spell.

This band plays in a local cabaret club. The owner is Kierownik sali (Zygmunt Malanowicz). He is drawn to the smell of fish. He can't figure out where it is coming from until he comes to the dressing room for the band. There he finds the two mermaids, but they currently have human legs. After the set, the band shows what happens when you pour water on their legs as they regrow their mermaid tails. Kierownik allows them to work in his club, but they'll sing and strip.

They get outfitted with clothes and perform the next night. It ends up being a hit and everyone loves them. Srebrna and Zlota can talk telepathically and it is through this that Srebrna is warned not to fall in love with Mietek. She assures her it won't happen, but that is exactly what does. There is the myth that if she falls for him and he marries someone else, she will become sea foam. On top of that, he is not attracted to her as he sees her as an animal. She wants human legs that will cause her to lose her voice if she does.

Zlota on the other hand gives in to her animal instincts, killing a man from the club. This draws the attention of the police, as well as an odd singer Tryton (Marcin Kowalczyk), who might also be a creature like her.

Despite their success, we see the downward spiral that comes after and everyone has to make a decision on what to do with their lives.

I have to say, after hearing about this film, I was definitely interested to see it and actually see how crazy it is. It definitely lives up to that expectation. What struck me is that these mermaids are very similar to sirens. They have the ability to entice men and because of it they can lure them into the water. They are constantly called children by Krysia and Perkusista, which after seeing how they act, doesn't seem to far from the truth. They are entranced by the big city life as they've been living a pretty simple existence.

The duality between the two mermaids is also interesting. Srebrna's tale is not that dissimilar to The Little Mermaid. I know that many of these fairy tales are actually quite dark in their nature, so that makes sense. This film really goes the distance to show the lengths she will go for the love of Mietek. It is sad though, because no matter how much she puts herself out there, he rejects her. He does lead her on though, which I can feel her pain on that level.

On the other side, we have Zlota. She knows her existence and really just wants to stick with. She does get enticed by Tryton, but he really breaks her spirit after a performance with him. I actually liked that she really knows herself and wants to be who she really is. It is tough though because Srebrna is ruining that by wanting more.

This film also tackles the darker side of show business with things like managers taking more of a cut than they are due. How quickly you can go from being on top to being nothing again. This really hits not only the two mermaids, but it also does with the rest of the band. I was actually surprised how much allegory and sub-plots they actually fit into this film.

Next I'll move to the pacing of the film. This is a bit difficult to do though, as the film being a musical doesn't necessarily a coherent path. We jump into some musical numbers that are fantastic, but I can't hold that against the film too much. I do think that we get some good references to things earlier in the film that end up coming full circle later. I personally liked the ending and I thought it definitely was satisfying. It really fits both characters' natures as well.

To the acting, I'm not going to lie; I fell in love with both Mazurek and Olszanska. I really like how similar, yet different they are. Their singing is amazing and I love how naïve both of them are as they are monsters who normally just eat humans. You can see how quickly this lifestyle has worn on them by the end though. I thought that was really interesting to see. We do get to see them topless for a good part of the film as well, which never hurts. Preis, Konopka and Gierszal I thought were interesting. They seem like good people, but success really got to them. The rest of the cast rounded out the film for what was needed.

Something that I was concerned with coming in to see this was the effects, but I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the practical effects looked good like the wounds, blood and gore in the film. There wasn't a lot, but what we get is good. There is CGI, especially with the tail and seeing the legs change into it. I was actually surprised with how well that looked. Overall I'd say this was definitely a strong part of the film.

As for the soundtrack of the film, it is quite important when you are watching a musical. All of the dialogue was in Polish including the lyrics to the song. I actually didn't mind it and the musical numbers are actually pretty solid. I did love the idea of one of them being a hair metal style song, as that is some of my favorite music. This was also a really good part of the film. Mazurek and Olszanska both talent when it comes to their singing.

Now with that said, I had a lot of fun with this film. It is an odd concept, but it actually worked for me. I really like the idea of taking the myth behind the mermaid and incorporating into this film along with the allegories and deeper subplots. The acting is good as was the pacing of the film. I was quite surprised with how well the effects turned out and some of the things they did. The musical numbers are a bit out there at times, but overall I think it worked. I will warn you again, this film is in Polish, so if that's an issue, I'd avoid this. If not, definitely give it a viewing.
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6/10
Label it
kosmasp16 November 2018
Criterion is the label - for special titles. Some say for classics (instant or not), others refer to the label for special movies in general. Movies that may not fit into a category. So this fits that category. It may not be a classic for various reasons, but at the end you may see and hopefully feel something that comes close to that feeling.

Up to that point there is some pacing issues, some timeline jumping issues and some issues with people and the way they behave, when faced with ... well our female main characters. If you can call their characters female that is. There is nudity, there is violence and there is singing too. A lot actually, so if you have issues with one or more of those things, this may not be for you in the first place. Otherwise a modern day fairy tale is what you get ...
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8/10
Shape shifting film
sergelamarche11 November 2018
Musical, bollywoodish even, rosy, horror, mystery, love. The film is changing shape several times and some sections are more epic than logic. Very unusual and original. Bravo for going places. Satisfying effects.
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Beauty songs and not bad movie
DansLeNoir4 October 2018
It was a quality movie. The musical songs were nice. The acting wasn't bad. The tension of the film was beautiful. It was a very fast movie. The final scene was not bad. With songs and quality received 7 points. Because the story and film value was not very good quality.
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10/10
A stylish Polish fantasy
kanabuma22 December 2017
Before watching this movie, I had no idea that they are making stylish, elegant movies in Poland. But this movie has changed my views. It's very apt to call this a fantasy musical, with a surrealistic tinge. The story is about two beautiful mermaids, not gentle as in a Disney movie, but a little bit blood thirsty. Even though I don't like tragic endings, the ending of this movie is very touching. How charming the two leading actresses are! They have fitted in their characters in a perfect manner. They are sweet as well as deadly. Music and songs are great. This movie gives dream like feeling which I am really fond of. I really love this movie.
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9/10
Let's dive into a world of farsical exuberance!
machocabrio30 July 2019
What a joy this little gem is. A mixture of diverse genres: fantasy, horror, drama, musical and some comedy thrown into the water, it's always a delight to watch. Never try to apply any logic to it, as it sets itself free from any conventions in favor of delivering an emotional and visually impressive piece of filmmaking, supported by a gorgeous retro soundtrack and the two most exquisite mermaids to ever grace the silver screen. Every character you'll cherish even if they seem too sleazy or selfish. They don't really get too much depth, but you feel as you've known them for ages, especially Wokalistka, Kierownik sali and Mietek. They're all out of a comic book, enjoyable in their paper-thin personalities. It is a delicately put together fable with some of the best ideas on practical effect solving I've seen in a long time. So gorgeous you'll feel inside a dream. If you're familiar (I know you are) with the Andersen's Little Mermaid tale, you'll feel at home... But then again you might not.
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8/10
This is different, somehow difficult but amazing
newday-172-26142715 September 2018
Yes this is different. Not one of those hollywood love story or horror thriller.

A musical-dark-horror-romantic-folkloric-erotic-comedy-fiction-fantasy about mermaids in Polish language shouldn't be something watchable! But surprisingly all elements of this movie are at the right place to give you the right feeling at the right moment.

A Decent storyline somehow difficult with great acting and acceptable special effects and innocently two beautiful sisters, analyze humanity, relationships, love, hate, sacrifice, music, and many other aspects from a very different perspective with the most unusual tools.

This is Art. This is cinema, Something you will learn from. A 100% must watch.
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10/10
polish musical wt mermaids, sleazy cabaret, bits of horror
surfisfun12 November 2017
worth 7.5+ I Loved some of the dance songs number. I thought it was very original. feel like a decent budget filming. I like the acting of the mermaids and the 3 musicians with them. solid direction. I would have probably like the musical better if I would be Polish. Very original and unique take on mermaids/sirens lords .
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10/10
Kinky Modern Take of a Classic Folktale
mojoguzzi-879-6849822 July 2017
Very loosely based on The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, THE LURE is as far from a Disneyfied version as you can get. If you've ever uttered the phrase "a bit much for my tastes" then you'll probably want to steer clear of this one. There are generous helpings of nudity, sex and violence. The musical numbers range from ballads about being roofied to an energetic punk rock performance.

Production values are top notch all around. There is nothing cheesy about the mermaid tails or transformations and the gory make-up effects are disturbingly real.

Coming from a culture with supernatural embedded in its bones, it's no surprise that the two young leads capture perfectly the traditional folkloric creatures they play -- virginally appealing, seductively alluring, inherently dangerous and morally conflicted mermaids.

Equal parts horror film and musical, THE LURE is kinkier and bloodier than ROCKY HORROR, a bit more ambitious with impressive special efx, and sporting a very attractive and talented cast. Besides the amphibious starlets there's an angel-faced loverboy, a couple of hot milfs and even the scarred punk merman is brutally sexy.

The opening hook grabs you and in a flash you're on a playfully warped joyride with strippers and lesbian cop sex and dirty old men. The story bounces through unexpected twists and turns but somehow hangs onto its main through-line -- the tale of a mermaid who falls in love with a human.
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7/10
beware of the mermaids!
dromasca3 October 2019
'Corki Dancing' ('Daughters of Dance') by the Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska, distributed in the English-speaking world as 'The Lure', is part of the increasingly rich category of films that refuse categorization or, if you want, creatively combine different genres and add something different atop. Poland has probably the most solid film school in Eastern Europe, characterized by a certain dose of sobriety and conservatism. This is one more reason why this film, which we saw at the Polish Film Festival at the local cinematheque, arouses curiosity and surprises its audiences.

The story imagined in the script written by Robert Bolesto takes place in Poland in the 1980s, during the breakdown of communism and the beginning of the transition to capitalism. The escapism of dance and strip clubs dominates the landscape. The emergence from the river that runs through Warsaw of two mermaids just our of their teens, does not produce much astonishment, especially when they fit very naturally into the world and the 'artistic' programs of the clubs. Mermaids and Tritons find their place as 'minorities' among human beings, but if those who use them for mercantile purposes or make the mistake of falling in love with them do not know Greek mythology, they will also ignore the dangers that are camouflaged by their tempting appearance and their delusional songs. The screenwriter and the film director have made full use of the ambiguities of the legends, describing a kind of violent cultural conflict between realms, amplified by the fact that the mermaids in the film sometimes also get vampire appetites. This whole story is wrapped in musical sequences well matched with the story's unfolding, a sign that we are in the cinematic convention of musicals, which should diminish the nuances of horror.

So we are dealing with a story with mermaids but we are far from the world of Disney and with a film with musical elements, horror, coming to age, militant feminism, social criticism, and everything is told with explicit nuances of kitsch with no claim of credibility. The combination works unexpectedly well. Since Tarantino, kitsch as a cinematic style is as legitimate as it can be. Director Agnieszka Smoczynska, at her first feature film, has chosen an excellent team of actors and has guided them well in a world faithfully recreated according to the appearance of Poland 30 years ago, but also including an implicit tribute to David Lynch. The story does not hesitate to shock from the beginning and continue to do so throughout the duration of the film, but the mix of explicit horror conventions and musical sequences (well chosen, composed and performed) make the whole plot seem acceptable. The two mermaids in the film start their journey together in the world of the humans, and their return to the sea is inevitable even if their two destinies at some point will split due to contact with humans. Those viewers who have the patience or the pleasure of watching this bizarre film to the end, will eventually enjoy an interesting morale.
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1/10
Definitely not so bad that it's good
trpnallday5 February 2019
I think that this is a really poorly made and unenjoyable movie and here's why:

There is very little in the way of a plot. This is further hampered by the decision to turn the movie into a musical. The songs seem to have little to nothing to do with the movie yet the songs make up at least 80% of the screen time. The only semblance of plot comes in the last few minutes of the movie and, by then, what happens didn't affect me because I was not very invested.

Hardly anything is explained and that hurts the movie. Some movies set up deep questions about the nature of existence or other debatable topics and so leaving things open-ended can work, but this is not one of those movies. Ex: What is the point of the beginning? The human protagonists are partying on a beach when the two mermaids sing to them and then a woman screams. Why did she scream? This is never explained and it seems to have no bearing on anything that happens subsequently. Somehow the two mermaids are adopted into the "family" and everything is fine. Moreover, there no consequence to the sudden appearance of two seemingly young girls and nobody has any qualms about how the two girls can suddenly turn into disgusting mermaid creatures when nothing else is presented as magical in the movie.

The movie brings up all sorts of points never to make use of any of them. Why bring up the weirdly human vagina on the fish tails of the mermaids only to never mention it again and present the mermaids as asexual? Why have that long section with two musical numbers that introduces the lesbian cop only to never mention it again? Why start the scene with the cop threatening to arrest the mermaid for murder and then never have there be any consequences for the mermaid's killing spree? Why spend half the movie building up the devil character only to have him be completely irrelevant?

The movie is a jumble of half-baked ideas. There is the ending that comes out of nowhere and could have been a big deal if the rest of the movie had built up to that climax, but it didn't. The movie presents mermaids as demons but never goes anywhere with it. Similarly, it takes a dark approach and presents the mermaids as disgusting creatures, but never makes that a plot point either. The characters all work in a nightclub, but it doesn't relate to the plot even though 90% of the movie takes place in or around the nightclub.

The movie is mostly a bunch of unrelated song numbers which are not entertaining. The lyrics make no sense and it seems like the actors did the singing themselves and they did a horrible job. The music is really poor and the singing is SOOOOOOOOO bad. Even with karaoke as my only training and even though I can't speak Polish, I could probably do a better job of singing than the actors in this movie!

Lastly, this movie takes itself waaay too seriously. It lacks the camp that is required to qualify for the "so bad that is good" category so it ends up being a gross, boring, painful to listen to and to watch slog. The only reason that I finished it was so that I could honestly say that I watched the whole thing when I writing this review.
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4/10
An amazing concept that's executed poorly
TheHoodOfSwords6 January 2020
I heard of this concept a while ago and added it to my watch list, getting around to watching it today I just felt my heart drop. The first 30 minutes of this film feels creepy and amazing. However as times goes on I just shook my head. Characters have no development, the musical numbers are boring and it feels sad and wimpy. Which sucks, because I think this movie had so much potential!
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