måndag 11 februari 2019

The Mermaid: Lake Of The Dead

When most of us think about mermaids, we think about the stories we heard from folklore or in books. Mermaids is of course known as a mythical creature, mostly seen as a woman with a lower body of a fish. One of the earliest memories i have from my childhood about mermaids, is the 1984 romantic comedy Splash with Tom Hanks and actress Daryl Hannah. The film tells the story about a man named Allan Bauer ( played by Tom Hanks ) who accidentally falls into the ocean. He is knocked out, but wakes up later on a beach. There he meets the beautiful woman Madison ( Daryl Hannah ), who turns out to be a mermaid. Splash is a different romantic comedy from most of the 80´s films in this category. And even if this is not one of the best films of Tom Hanks career, i still consider this to be a charming film with other great comedians included in the cast as legendary actor John Candy and Eugene Levy. This film is also directed by legendary director Ron Howard. The second film that comes to my mind about mermaids, is the 2001 Spanish horror film known as Dagon from director Stuart Gordon. I have not seen this movie for many years, but i remember that i enjoyed the film on DVD back then. One of the most interesting details about this film is that legendary film maker Brian Yuzna is one of the producers of this film. Dagon tells the story Stock market tycoon Paul Marsh ( played by actor Ezra Godden ) who goes on vacation with his girlfriend on the coast of Spain. But an unknown creature attacks them from underneath the sea, that turns out to be a mermaid. If you love B movies and bad acting then you should check out Dagon. Let´s change subject for a short while. When you think about Russia, what comes to your mind ? For me personally i think about beautiful women, vodka, great music and a lot of historical moments. Of course i have noticed that B action movie star Steven Seagal is still a super star in Russia, so they clearly love his classic films. I have not seen many Russian films unfortunately. Why ? I suppose i don´t keep myself updated on Russian films, even if i hear there are some good ones that should be seen. Until in 2017 when the Russian horror film The Bride ( Nevesta ) was released. Critics were positive, and i was hearing from horror fans that this was a film you need to see. I enjoyed The Bride, since it was well made and had a great concept. I also like the fact that the film is well made for capturing the time period of the year 1832. Director Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy continued making horror films, and i recently got a chance to see his film The Mermaid: Lake Of The Dead. Do we finally have a really good mermaid horror film in our hands, or is this a film that won´t leave any big impact at all ?

Marina ( Viktoriya Agalakova ) is living in a happy relationship with swimmer Roma Kitaev ( Efim Petrunin ). They are about to be married, so Roma´s best friends arrange a bachelor party in a cabin. For some reason, Roma leaves as he does not feel like celebrating. He ends up going for a swim, when he is suddenly approached by a strange looking woman. Roma wakes up when his friends find in near the water, but he have no memory of what happened. It seems that in this lake, there is a mermaid ( Sofia Shidlovskaya ) who is out to get Roma. No one knows what the mermaid wants, until they dig deeper into the truth.......

One of the things i noticed with this film, is how well made this film is on a technical level. What do i mean ? This film looks really good, with great looking camera shots and have some very colorful scenes. And i have to say that the sound effects is better than i expected, and this is another detail that makes the atmosphere feel more creepy. If you remember the creepy feeling from The Grudge films, you will find something similar here. Not as good of course as the original The Grudge film, but still effective. Let´s talk about the acting. For the most part, this film suffer with bad performances. And this is such a shame, since this is a great looking film. There are 2 performances at least that we can say do work ( for the most part ). First off we have Russian actress Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy as the character Marina. She seems to be very shy at first, but when she is forced to be tough she gives a better performance. The mermaid played by Russian actress Sofia Shidlovskaya gives us the strongest performance in this film. She uses simple body movements to capture the right tone of creepy atmosphere, and i have to say she looks great in the make up as the evil mermaid. What about the male cast ? I have to say that there are no male actors here that make any big acting efforts. I don´t know why they did not go deeper into their characters, because if they did this could have been even more interesting. I would have liked to known more about the story behind the mermaid, maybe a scene where we are told how a young woman transformed into the evil mermaid with some details. You do find out a little bit about the background, but only enough to understand what actually happened to Lisa ( before she becomes a mermaid ). Director Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy clearly have a passion for horror movies, and he knows how to tell effective stories on camera. I can also sense that he knows what many horror films are missing these days, technically well made scenes on camera. If he only could have had some better performances from the male cast especially, this could have been a really delightful treat. The Mermaid: Lake Of The Dead is a horror film that will most likely be appreciated by B movie lovers who love creepy atmospheres, and appreciate practical make up effects. I noticed that this film is dubbed, maybe because this is a film with only Russian actors. I would probably have liked seeing the film with the Russian language instead, but it still does not effect my final thoughts on this film. Are you looking for the perfect cozy Valentines Day movie for your loved one ? Look no further, The Mermaid: Lake Of The Dead knows what true love is all about, a mermaid beast looking for victims. I have to say, that is my kind of Valentines Day, in every possible way.

Rating: DDD

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