Thursday, October 10, 2019

THE MERMAID: LAKE OF THE DEAD (2018) Blu-ray Review

Scare-A-Thon Totals to Date:

Total Movies Watched: 8
Total First Time Views: 3
Amount raised for AMAZON WATCH: $383.68

The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead (2019) d. Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy (Russia) (87 min) (1st viewing)

Competitive swimmer and eager bridegroom Roman Kitaev (Elfim Petrunin) goes away with his pal Ilya (Nikita Elenev) for a final bachelor’s weekend at his parents’ old cabin in the woods. While there, he has a strange encounter with a female apparition on the dock by the lake, one that leaves him physically infirm and mentally unstable. His fiancée Marina (Viktoriya Agalakova) and his sister Olga (Sesil Plezhe), fearing for his well-being, spirit him out of the hospital and head back to the cabin to try to shake the mystical spell over him. But the all-powerful water nymph is not to be trifled with – having laid claim to her human prize, she mercilessly defends her territory, dragging anyone who opposes her down to a watery grave.

Handsomely produced and well-performed, this recent Russian entry into the horror sweepstakes derives from a Slavic myth that claims that unwed women who died by drowning were doomed to live forever beneath the icy waters as malevolent “mermaids.” (The creature seen her differs from our usual interpretation of the half human/half fish iteration, coming off more like an underwater ghost, complete with computer-generated “stretchy face” for maximum scare effect.)

Though it hardly breaks new ground with its “dead person done wrong seeking vengeance on the living” storyline, it’s a satisfying enough supernatural yarn with an attractive cast, plentiful atmosphere, and jump scares galore that should keep viewers occupied through the running time, though I doubt it will linger long in the memory. If you can get past the lack of scales and tails, there are worse ways to spend an October evening. (There is even a more-than-passable English-language track for the subtitle-shy crowd.)

The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead is available now on Blu-ray or DVD from Shout! Factory (with a theatrical trailer as its only supplement) and can be ordered HERE:


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