Polish horror/musical The Lure is one of the strangest films to be shown at this year’s Film Festival. The film is a strange hybrid of fantasy horror with its plot concerning mermaids becoming singers in a nightclub in order to feed on human flesh, yet also featuring enough songs performed by the cast that qualify it as a musical.

The film balances both genres adeptly, meaning that it never seems jarring when a character suddenly breaks into song. It manages to handle a third-act transition in which the narrative recreates The Little Mermaid, when mermaid, Silver (Marta Mazurek), falls in love with human guitarist Mietek (Jakub Gierszal), endangering her life in the process.

Both Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska, as fellow mermaid Golden, provide intensely sexual yet emotionally vulnerable performances, preventing the characters from coming across as two-dimensional horror-movie monsters. They are helped by Agniseka Smoczynska, whose stylish direction results in atmospheric murder and musical sequences, including a seemingly out-of-place brightly-lit song-and-dance number filmed on location in Warsaw.

However, despite the traditionally lurid subject matter, Smoczynska takes a relatively restrained approach to showing the violent nature of the mermaid’s attacks on humans, preferring to focus on the romance between Silver and Mietek.

The Lure is a unique take on the horror genre and is well worth watching to experience something different at this year’s Festival.

Adam Thornton

Fri 24 June, 8.55pm, Cineworld

Sat 25 June, 9pm, Filmhouse

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