T he Lure has been on my watch list for almost a year, and after seeing it was on Filmstruck I dropped everything to catch it. I needed to know why such a recent release got the Criterion treatment, and why some are considering it a must see. Before I even begin my review I must say it was well worth the wait.
Directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska, The Lure is a Polish film that technically released in 2015 but is considered a 2017 release if you live in the United States. Best way to describe this unique film is to imagine if The Little Mermaid was about man-eating mermaids who were also into goth music. The Lure is not only a horror musical but also a fairy tale about love. The film centers around two mermaids, one representing the little mermaid type perspective of romance and curiosity, and the other representing the horror and animalistic type aspect of the film.
I have to give props to the film for managing to stay unpredictable until the latter part of the film. When you think the mermaids are about to kill a group of strangers, turns out they are actually joining their weird band. When you think you are getting a normal shopping trip, you are actually ending up with the biggest musical number in the film. The film earns additional credits for using the visual effects in a great way; the mermaid tails and gore look natural.
Everything about the film slowly gets darker as the story progresses, and the goth aspect of the film completely takes over. The Lure handles the goth changes in a brilliant fashion that overall suits the story. With that being said there are some flaws: some of the scenes only cause confusion to what is actually happening, and other scenes seem to only serve the purpose of a musical number. You can almost tell that some of the plot and focus is lost on providing beautiful visuals instead of depth. The horror aspect is definitely there, and the film is no slouch to violence, but it would have been nice to focus more on that part than the basic romance.
I compare The Lure to that of the ancient Greek Sirens. The songs and visuals are so mesmerizing that you probably won’t notice the giant rock, or in this case the flaws of the film till you reach the end. The Lure is an amazing musical film that delivers a refreshing take on The Little Mermaid story, but those looking for gore and horror will be left underwhelmed.