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The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead (2018)

Rusalka: Ozero myortvykh (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 12 July 2018 (Russia)
An evil Mermaid falls in love with Marina's fiancé Roman and aims to keep him away from Marina in her Kingdom of Death under water. The Mermaid is a young woman who drowned a few centuries ... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
Viktoriya Agalakova ... Marina
Efim Petrunin Efim Petrunin ... Roma Kitaev
Sofia Shidlovskaya Sofia Shidlovskaya ... Lisa Grigorieva / The Mermaid
Nikita Elenev Nikita Elenev ... Ilya
Sesil Plezhe Sesil Plezhe ... Olga
Igor Khripunov Igor Khripunov ... Father
Evgeniy Koryakovskiy Evgeniy Koryakovskiy ... Trainer
Nadezhda Igoshina Nadezhda Igoshina ... Mother
Daria Yartseva Daria Yartseva ... Bride
Dmitriy Yartsev Dmitriy Yartsev ... Bride's Father


An evil Mermaid falls in love with Marina's fiancé Roman and aims to keep him away from Marina in her Kingdom of Death under water. The Mermaid is a young woman who drowned a few centuries ago. Marina only has one week to overcome her fear of the dark water, to remain human in the deathly fight with the monsters and not to become one herself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Terror lies just beneath the surface.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

12 July 2018 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Both main protagonists' names are water-related. Roma Kitaev is nicknamed by his friends as "Kit", which means "whale" in Russian; His bride's name is Marina, from the Latin word "Marinus", which translates as "of the sea". See more »


The poster design is nonsensical. It features a man, looking down at a beautiful woman, whom is in a water, yet what he doesn't see is that she is actually a monster and has reddened the water below her with the blood of her victims and additionally a mountain of their skulls. This was thought to be a clever way to indicate to us, the audience, that this poster is meaningful; Yet how was the man unable to see what's in the water, considering the fact that he was looking directly into it, doesn't make any sense. See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Creep-Out, But You Must Understand Slavic Mythology
24 October 2019 | by mydad2See all my reviews

Let's start with the badly translated title. Where's the mermaid? There isn't one. The title character is a rusalka, not a mermaid in any western understanding of the word. Rusalki are the damned souls of girls who commited suicide by drowning, typically because they were pregnant out of wedlock and abandoned or rejected by the father. Such a girl becomes a rotting half-fish, half-woman, hideous in appearance, inhabiting ponds and rivers (not the ocean), who tries to lure young men to their death. They can shape-shift to appear beautiful or take the form of a living person. They are vengeful, evil, capable of sorcery, and dangerous. Don't think Ariel in a clamshell bra. Think carp zombies.

There. Does that help?

Marina is engaged to Roma, a competitive swimmer. Roma and his sister Olga lost their mother at an early age, supposedly to drowning. But as you see in the opening scene, she was actually killed by a rusalka at their lakeside dacha (summer house). The widowed father, who has had at best a distant relationship with his children ever since, unexpectedly gifts the dacha to Roma and Marina as a wedding gift, telling them to sell it and take the money. Instead, Marina wants to fix it up and keep it. But the rusalka has not gone away, and now casts her eye on Roma...

Visually, "The Rusalka: Lake of the Dead" (to give it its proper translation) excels. It is rich in old-fashioned atmosphere: mist on the lake, moon through clouds, candlelight in the old banya (wooden sauna), a lush Russian forest.

Contrary to what some reviewers found, the storyline is perfectly coherent. There are a handful of cultural references that Russians will understand but are not explained for the benefit of westerners (such as a shout-out to Karamzin's "Poor Liza").

But these do not pose a problem as long as you understand that a rusalka is not a mermaid.

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