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Review: The Mermaid’s Curse (2019)

It seems like only yesterday I was reviewing Pagan Warrior from director Louisa Warren. But actually, it was a full three days ago. Now her film The Mermaid’s Curse has found its way in front of my eyes. The script is by Tyler-James, who back in 2015 wrote and co-directed a film called Deadly Waters. So what, I hear you ask? Well, it has the same exact synopsis on IMDB and an almost identical list of characters. Tony Manders (The Young Cannibals, Death Follows) and Kate Lush (Pet Graveyard, The House on Elm Lake) even reprise their roles. So I’m assuming it’s an uncredited remake.

Harry (Jon Callaway, Black Ops, The Candy Witch) and Nikki (Gabriella Melrose) sneak down to the beach to celebrate their anniversary. As they’re doing the nasty, a woman crawls across the beach and begins singing. Harry stops, puts his pants on, and wanders off. Of course, they’ll both end up dead.

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Jake (Tom Hendryk, The Haunting of Alcatraz, Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing) is a journalist investigating a recent string of disappearances. He’s either blown off or warned off, depending on who he talks to. His day gets even worse when he walks in on his best friend Cameron (AJ Blackwell, Don’t Speak, Tooth Fairy: The Root of Evil) and his girlfriend Charlotte (Nina Jay) in bed together.

Shortly after, he finds a familiar-looking woman (Rebecca Finch, Cyber Bride) injured on the beach. Rather than the hospital, he brings her home to recover. From there things get strange. And bloody.

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Shot as The Water Witches, The Mermaid’s Curse isn’t actually about mermaids. The budget wouldn’t stretch to that. Instead, it deals with sirens. Although the two terms are frequently used interchangeably, they are two different creatures. And sirens require almost no effects, so they’re perfect for a film like this.

The script for The Mermaid’s Curse calls for a fair amount of sex. That’s certainly unusual for one of Warren’s films, and I can see why, as she seems to have no clue how to shoot sex scenes. The scenes are unbelievably tame and have pretty much zero eroticism. It’s a pity, as Georgie Banks (Cupid) looks quite nice in her bathing suit.

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It also means there’s almost no heat or chemistry between Hendryk and Finch. And a film with this kind of relationship at its centre needs a cast and director who can deliver that. We have to be sold on the attraction between them. That Jake will overlook some obvious and unsettling things because of his attraction.

Despite that, there is enough interesting stuff going on to make The Mermaid’s Curse the best film I’ve seen from the director. Faint praise I know, but there you have it. The film was produced by Steven M. Smith (Doll House) who recently directed the best film I’ve seen from him, Dead Again. Here’s hoping it’s the start of a trend.

The Mermaid’s Curse is available via ITN.

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