By: Justin Hopkins
So it has been awhile since my last entry into the B Movie Sunday and made it a point to find a movie for today’s review and stumbled upon a selection of Mermaid themed horror movies. Which I didn’t know was a thing, but was hoping for the best as I picked one at random and gave it a go. Lets dive in and check out if I made the right choice.
The movie kicks off with a relatively long intro, with four people on a boat. Amy, Shelly, Roy, and Toby. They show up at an island and make their way to a lake. Amy making her way to the beach while the others hang back. Shelly warning Toby about pain to come and find out it is over the fact he is going to propose. She walks off and while Toby and Roy are discussing the fact he is going to do this. Shelly is busy blowing the surprise and telling Amy. Who is mortified by this, cause they just started dating, but she didn’t want to hurt him either. Before she figures out what to do, Toby comes over and they go for a hike with a picnic basket. After a bot of a trek, he pops the question and she declines it. Trying to get it through to him that they don’t know each other well enough and he is going on about the age thing and while that is happening. Shelly gets pushed into the lake after splashing Roy with water. Before she gets out something bites her leg. They get her out, but she is to hurt to walk and they carry her toward the spot the see smoke coming from to get her help. They find a house and believe no one home and take her inside for an old woman to come out of a backroom. When she learns Shelly was bitten in the lake. Pulls a gun and wants to kill her. Saying they have to kill her before she kills all of them. They knock her out and tries again the moment she wakes back up. This time around, Shelly bites her and in response, the old lady kills herself and that is where I will leave this for now.
Alright, this story, at the bare bone level is a rather interesting one. Love the idea of killer mermaids, I didn’t even know it was a thing and it sounds like it can do well. Giving them an infectious bite as well isn’t the worst thing. Can be fun to see the effects and something new to the table. With that said though, Mermaid Isle suffered from a lack of budget. I give them all the credit for trying there best to make the story work for their needs, but they really needed some more affects here. Showing some more transformation effects that Shelly and later Amy go through during the transformation or even after the transformation and they are in the water. I really like the looks of their Mermaid Tails. They looked really good, but we only get a few shots on them in the water and really would have liked one good shot of them as Mermaids.
I don’t want to bash the cast to much here. They are all very new to the scene and hope they all grow from this and get better, but there is one I have to talk about and in kind of a negative way and that is Mark Reinhardt’s Toby. He is just so stiff throughout the entire runtime. The old woman pulls a gun, tries to kill Shelly, gets knocked out, attempts to hit Toby with a fire place poker, gets bitten and kills herself and he has the exact same emotionless expression. Like they put the script just off camera and he is reading off of it. Even when he tries to yell at Roy for knocking her out. Just nothing going on in his facial expressions to back up anything he says and it happens throughout. Acting is a hard thing to do and hope he finds his grove and gets more comfortable in front of the camera, but that was not here.
Alright, we are onto the negatives. One of which, is the fact they don’t actually go out into the water. Most of the time is spent against the shoreline in water that might be a foot deep. Yet, they never see the Mermaid coming ever. Just go out a little more. So water is up to their waist at least. Can muddy the river and go from their. Just a little thing to make it more plausible that the Mermaids can effectively sneak up on them.
Alright, this one is a bit more of an issue. You can writing off them not going far enough in the water as just dumb things characters do to advance a story, albeit a little to far but whatever. The audio being so low that they are almost inaudible isn’t. It got better as they went out, but it’s really bad at the start to the point where it I backtracking with closed caption to figure out what was being said.
Mermaid Isle had a good idea in mind, but needed a bigger budget and little more time put in to make the most of it. They tried their best and give them all the credit in the world for trying. As it is though. I can’t suggest it and have to go with a skip it.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.