Review: THE LURE, Mermaids, Love, Death, Song and Dance

Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska, THE LURE features show-stopping musical set pieces.

Contributor; Seoul, South Korea (@pierceconran)
to Vote
Review: THE LURE, Mermaids, Love, Death, Song and Dance

In the crowded world of cinema, many filmmakers set out to try something different. However, it's one thing to be novel, which normally means stretching a thin gimmick over other recycled bits of past films, but another thing entirely to find a new way to tell a story in a 120-year old medium. A tale of mermaids, love, death and song and dance, Agnieszka Smoczynska's The Lure gives us something we haven't experienced before from the outset and continues to surprise throughout its delightful and batty 90 minutes.

On night in the 1980s, on the banks of the Vistula in Warsaw, a family of musicians meet Silver and Golden, a pair of beguiling mermaids, and bring them back to their workplace: a swinging, erotic night club. The girls soon become a fixture of the venue's stage and enjoy their debauched new lives. That is, until Silver falls for the bassist son of the family, and Golden begins to succumb to her bloodthirsty urges.

With its pair of winsome leads emerging through the water and trying to entice the men of the band into the river through a hypnotic song, The Lure immediately instills an unsettling tone. Yet rather than dive into a sordid horror tale it becomes a voyage of discovery for these mysterious creatures as they are brought into their new home. The club, vividly rendered through inventive production design and colorful characters, affords them a visually engaging and sensual location to explore themselves.

What really makes The Lure stand out are its show-stopping musical set pieces, which range from rock and ballads to folk, and, in one unforgettable sequence, shows us the two young women beckoning to us with enthralling harmonies while the rest of the crowd revels around them in slow motion, oblivious to everything but the moment and sensation they find themselves in.

As with many debut works, particularly ones with such a bold tone, The Lure at times bites off more than it can chew. While it presents us with a wealth of fascinating characters, all matched to fantastic performers, some of the people in the narrative fade into the background as their plots strands remain unexplored. The film also runs into some trouble when it tries to wrap up only some of its narrative's threads in the climax. But with all the imagination, ambition and verve on show, these quibbles are from life-threatening.

The Polish mermaid horror-musical you never knew you wanted, The Lure is an electric debut from director Smoczynska.

Review originally published during Fantasia in July 2016. The film opens today at the IFC Center in New York City via Janus Films.

to Vote
Screen Anarchy logo
Do you feel this content is inappropriate or infringes upon your rights? Click here to report it, or see our DMCA policy.
Agnieszka SmoczynskamermaidPoland

More from Around the Web

More about The Lure

Around the Internet

cjohnstonFebruary 2, 2017 6:35 PM

AWESOME review here.. - you do NOTHING to snuff out my Interest in this project..
...I'm ALL for genre bending (and busting).. LOVE that kinda stuff. ..... ...
The Congress, Zoom, Trance, Enemy, (though both severely divisive) both Man of Steel and Sucker Punch, Under the Skin, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Automata, Burning Man, Mr. Nobody, The Tribe, Arrival, The Survivalist, Detour, Too Late, The Duelist (Duelyant), Swiss Army Man, Cloud Atlas,... ...both L. Winches... (etc..).
- - - - -
--- all - imo - send the respective "genre" that each respectively represents Completely and Unmercifully thru the saw-mill; in All the best ways possible..
..From the looks of things ~ this one's NO different either.
-- As I am not able to hop on2 a plane anytime in near future and jet-set my way to NYC, - is there Any word when this will be rolling out to a wider audience ?

Eva WebbFebruary 2, 2017 11:30 PM

I have made 104000 bucks in 2016 by doing an online job and I was able to do it by work­ing part time f­o­r several hours a day. I used a money making model I came across from company that i found online and I am amazed that i was able to make so much money. It's very user friendly a­n­d I'm so happy that i learned about it. Check out what I did...

J HurtadoFebruary 3, 2017 9:54 AM

I know it's playing in Dallas next weekend, so my guess is that it will expand soon

cjohnstonFebruary 3, 2017 8:13 PM

Much Appreciated for that tip..
...I had recently spoke with another scribe over on another site - (aicn); about this same, ..conundrum - as it were.. (where oh where to find this thing and when *and if* it will be rolling out to the broader populace at large..
..while Dallas is substantially closer to my "roost" than the big apple is ~ it's still rather unlikely that everything will "sync" for that to happen...
~ ~ ~
I DO Appreciate though your amount of time in responding to my query..