She Wants You to be Part of Her World
I don’t want to rock anyone’s world, but I have a hard truth for everyone to hear: Disney lied to us!! Okay, maybe that didn’t surprise anyone all that much, so let me be a little more specific. Mermaids are not nice fish-people! Disney’s film, The Little Mermaid, has white washed what these demon fish ladies are really like for far too long! The latest film from Epic Productions, Killer Mermaid, seeks to set the record straight, and it does a damn good job doing so!
Killer Mermaid is in a new genre that I am calling “Mermaids are terrifying as hell”, and it fits that description perfectly. The film re-invigorates the true mermaid legend with a perfect formula of great casting, great scenery, great directing from Milan Todorovic, and a great script. Don’t let the title fool you, this is not a SyFy channel creature movie of the week. Rather, it’s a well-crafted horror film. Without spoiling any of it, let me explain why this needs to be on your watch list.
First off, the film is never what it seems. I went into it assuming I knew the plot twist and found myself surprised at how often I had to change my idea of what was happening. The writers are brilliant, because at no point did these changes feel forced. The way the plot plays out feels natural and makes sense. Things are revealed to the audience when the characters start investigating their situation and try to think instead of just react to what is happening around them. It is refreshing to see intelligently written characters in a horror film, even if many of them still end up dead.
Speaking of the characters, praise needs to be given to the cast, and it is an amazing cast! Kristina Klebe, Natalie Burn, Franco Nero, Dragan Micanovik, and the rest are fantastic. The way they understand their characters makes a significant impact on the overall effect of the film. Franco Nero, an acting legend in his own right, is outstanding and brought the kind of weight to his role you would expect from an actor of his caliber. The two leads, Kristina Klebe and Natalie Burn, are brilliant and did an amazing job with their roles. The cast is well put together and there isn’t a weak link to be found.
As great as the cast is, the film would have fallen flat if it was in the hands of an unskilled director. Milan Todorovic rose to the occasion in every way possible. His wise use of aerial shots helps establish a sense of mood for each act of the film. His restraint in not using the “Shaky Cam” filming technique is refreshing. Too often the technique is used in horror films as a crutch in place of good story telling. Above everything else, what really sets him apart is his pacing of the film. The film never feels rushed, just going from one scare to the next, but it also doesn’t linger too long on any one moment. Each scene is given the appropriate amount of time and not a moment more or less. This is a skill that many directors have trouble with and something Todorovic has certainly mastered.
The last bit of praise needs to go to the scenery. This film is beautiful when it needs to be beautiful and terrifying when it needs to be terrifying. The selected locations are perfect and never feel cheap. It is a tropical paradise that has a dark secret just on the edge of its boarder. There is a slow transition of the scenery from the tropical paradise to the dark evil that keeps the pacing of the film moving smoothly. It never feels like an abrupt transition forcing the film from an innocent first act to a deadly second act. The slow transition makes it feel more like a trap that our characters get caught in. This feeling fits perfectly with the overall tone of the film and helps reinforce how much care is given to each element of the production.
If I had any complaints it would be two minor things. First, when we finally see the mermaid, some of the CG looks shiny. It’s not always like this, but a couple times it seems out of place in the dark filth of her lair. The second issue is when the bad guy in the film is hunting our group of heroes. They get split up, while running over the island. My issue is initially the guy chasing them seems to be following one group and then there’s a scene change and he is now following the other. It isn’t a huge issue and most people probably wouldn’t even notice it, but it did take me out of the scene for a minute. Besides these two little things, the film is top notch.
Epic Pictures and Milan Todorovic put all the right pieces together with this film and their efforts have paid off. Killer Mermaid is available through iTunes, Amazon, or Best Buy. What are you waiting for?! Go watch this movie now!