The house lights are down and the curtain is coming up, which can mean only one thing: it’s time for Screaming in Harmony! Each month, we shine the spotlight on a different horror musical. In keeping with this month (and last month’s) Enchantment Under the Sea theme, tonight’s show is The Lure, a supernatural Polish disco drama from 2015. Without further ado, let’s let the show go on!
The Lure is a modernized version of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. If that title sounds familiar, that’s because it was also turned into a Disney movie (which is definitely the most famous version now). Unlike the Disney cartoon, The Lure features blood, gore, full frontal, cigarettes, and exclusively Polish dialog. In this version, there are two mermaids, Golden and Silver (who you might recognize from this horny article by fish enthusiast Grant DeArmitt), who join a nightclub disco act and learn the ways of the above-ground world. Their tails turn into legs when they’re dry, but splash a little water on them and suddenly you’re at the fish market. This novelty makes them a huge draw for the club, but we all know that success doesn’t come cheap. Silver falls in love with the bassist, which is how we know this is a fairytale, and Golden meets a mysterious stranger with some secrets of his own. Silver will do just about anything for this bassist, but she better watch out: there are some pretty ferocious rules for mermaids on the shore.
GORE & SCORE
The soundtrack to The Lure freakin’ rips. The songs are mostly trash disco tracks, which is absolutely a compliment, but there are also some more theatrical tracks. The most notable departure, though, comes when Golden sits in with the aforementioned mysterious stranger’s punk band and gives us all a little eastern European angst. I paused this movie to say, out loud, “I don’t know what I was expecting this music to sound like, but it’s way better.” Top tracks include any disco song that Golden and Silver sing with the disco band, the choreographed number that shows them growing in fame and success, and the “open-up-the-pit” punk banger featuring Golden. I can’t give you titles for these tracks, because I don’t speak even a little bit of Polish. An honorable mention goes to the sad song where everyone is gloomy, which is among the best kinds of music.
Speaking of soundtracks, huge thanks to Rachel Reeves for putting this crazy little musical on my radar!
I’m going to say something controversial here: just by its very nature, musical theatre attracts actors who tend to chew scenery. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not for everyone. With that in mind, I’d say that everyone in The Lure did a good job of keeping things reigned in and realistic. Well, as realistic as a fairytale about disco mermaids can be. My opinion is probably informed by not speaking the language of this movie. If my focus weren’t being drawn to the subtitles, I might have more opportunity to be critical. You win again, other languages!
While no one in this movie gives a bad performance, special attention should be given to Michalina Olszańska as Golden and Marta Mazurek as Silver for doing it all. In the biz, they’re what’s known as triple threats: they can act, sing, and tear the throats out of their victims.
The Lure has a little something for everyone: a love story, a horror story, and disco songs. If you wanna check it out for yourself, you can rent or buy it on YouTube. If you don’t wanna check it out based on that description, you might be beyond saving. This movie won a pretty good number of awards at film festivals, including Best Film. Give it a shot!
Are you practicing your slap bass skills for when the global pandemic’s over and your disco band can play club shows with naked mermaids again? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook page! And please, send me a Bandcamp link! For more horror than you can tear out of the chests of dudes you pick up at the bar, stay tuned to Nightmare on Film Street.
P.S. Happy Pride month from the guy who writes about musical theatre, ayyyyyy!!