Mermaids: pretty, kind half-human half-fish people who love to swim with little fish and sing and comb their hair with dinglehoppers, who just happen to also have a taste for human flesh. The Disneyfied version of Ariel tones that last aspect of their behavior way down, but in actual mermaid lore, the creatures get their sustenance by luring sailors overboard so they can feast on their flesh. The new film The Lure, debut of Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczynska, made plenty of waves touring the festival circuit last year, and is about to make port in the U.S. with its first trailer.

If you enjoy musicals, but wish they had just a little bit more cannibalism, this is the perfect fit for you. The Lure delighted fans of the weird around the globe during its tour last year, spinning a tale of two mermaid sisters who come ashore in a technicolor version of the ’80s and make names for themselves singing at a nightclub.

In this bold, genre-defying horror-musical mashup — the playful and confident debut of Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska — a pair of carnivorous mermaid sisters are drawn ashore in an alternate ’80s Poland to explore the wonders and temptations of life on land. Their tantalizing siren songs and otherworldly aura make them overnight sensations as nightclub singers in the half-glam, half-decrepit fantasy world of Smoczynska’s imagining. In a visceral twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s original Little Mermaid tale, one sister falls for a human, and as the bonds of sisterhood are tested, the lines between love and survival get blurred. A savage coming-of-age fairytale with a catchy new-wave soundtrack, lavishly grimy sets, and outrageous musical numbers, The Lure explores its themes of sexuality, exploitation, and the compromises of adulthood with energy and originality.

Entertainment Weekly reports the film opens at New York City’s IFC Center February 1, with a national release sometime after that.

Janus Films
Janus Films

More From ScreenCrush