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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Had to walk out....
domwhoseekshisdom20 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
After an extremely promising, magical and inventive first half-hour, the sirens' spell quickly wore off of me. The musical numbers, of which there are too many, have completely nonsensical lyrics and so little originality in them that the pace slows down to unbearable levels. It was like watching a bunch of predictable drag queen numbers.

The plot is a complete mess, with random characters popping in and out with little to no consequence other than to up the surreal vibe the film so desperately wants to project, and none of the world's 'rules' remain consistent.

Like a great looking lover whose only talents are to look good, I got bored of this film quickly and proudly ejected myself from the equation before things dragged out even more.

(The first time Polish director shows a lot of promise though and I'll definitely check out her next feature. Her video, with the help of a few ADHD children in the background, thanking the Fantasia audience before the film started was very charming.)

Much love from Montreal!
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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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Be Kind, Please Rewind
capone66615 October 2018
The Lure

The reason everyone wants to be a mermaid is so they can make and sell their own caviar.

However, the sirens in this musical are more interested in making music than making roe.

Sisters from the sea, Golden (Michalina Olszanska) and Silver (Marta Mazurek), surface one night when they hear a band playing. Eventually the half-human, half-fish females become the band's vocalists.

But where Golden wants to dine on their audience and swim to America, Silver wants to get her tail removed so she can marry the bass player. Neither plan comes to fruition.

While the idea of a horror musical starring sirens is intriguing and the cinematography and songs are certainly enjoyable, this Polish reinterpretation of The Little Mermaid is all over the map with strong subplots that don't amount to much.

Sadly, once singing mermaids lose their fins crowds go back to chanting 'show us your tits'. Yellow Light
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Beauty songs and not bad movie
seeramuun54 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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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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One of those cute foreign horror-fantasy films.
Otkon1 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
It has its moments. It has its problems. It is weird for the sake of weird. You can tell people you have seen it. But it is basically The Little Mermaid getting punched in the face a lot.
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Woodyanders30 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Lethal, but lovely and enchanting mermaid sisters Golden (striking brunette Michalina Olszanska) and Silver (adorable redhead Marta Mazurek) decide to go ashore in 1980's Warsaw, Poland. The pair make a big splash working as strippers and singers at a seedy nightclub. However, complications ensue when Silver falls for bassist Mietek (amiable Jakub Gierszal) while Golden can't resist her natural predatory urge to eat people's hearts.

Director Agnieszka Smoczynska ably crafts an intoxicating dreamlike atmosphere tinged with dread and melancholy as well as adroitly uses the novel premise as a means of exploring such topics as the hypnotic power of unbridled female sexuality, adolescent rites of passage including puberty and maturity, male exploitation of women, and the objectification of the female body by men. Moreover, Smoczynska and screenwriter Robert Bolesto not only offer a deliciously bold and inventive blend of horror, fantasy, and musical elements, but also toss in a tragic love story for extra poignant measure. Mazurek and Olszanska both possess an otherworldly beauty that make them incredibly sexy and credible as irresistible sea sirens; they receive fine support from Kinga Preiss as aging, but still sultry cabaret singer Krysia, Zymunt Malanowicz as the sleazy nightclub manager, and Marcin Kowalczyk as scruffy punk Triton. Jakub Kijowski's vibrant widescreen cinematography gives this film a sparkling neon look. Further enhanced by an infectiously bouncy and catchy synth-pop soundtrack, this truly singular oddity comes highly recommended.
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A polish LA LA LAND by way of Ginger Snaps
paradux5 June 2017
It is unforgettable.

Mainly because it is a polish horror/musical presented with in the original soundtrack with subtitles. And likely the best polish musical/horror film you will ever see.

Does it work, aside from the oddity? Actually, not really.

Perhaps because the director thinks he is living in the 1970s, or perhaps because the entire cast looks like they escaped from an off-Broadway version of Cabaret.

The two young ladies playing the fish are best part. You get a sense they were waiting for a better movie but never quite found it.
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Disappointing movie
mario_c1 March 2016
To be honest I have very little patient for musicals, it must be a great musical film to call my attention and have my appreciation... But, in the mood of FANTASPORTO (a fantasy film festival from my home town), I decided to give a chance to this Polish film. I knew it was a musical but I thought it wouldn't be SO musical, and I mean so annoyingly musical, with singing and dancing scenes in the most ridiculous situations!

The plot is about two beautiful mermaids who become the singer stars of a nightclub and then one of them falls in love for a human boy, and that wasn't supposed to happen... It's all a story about love and how to stand out boundaries for love... The main idea is not bad I must say and I even think it could have been a nice movie if it wasn't so... musical!

OK, it's true I'm not a fan of the genre, but enough is enough! I score it 3/10!
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