The fishermen never had a chance. Once they saw the beautiful faces of Golden and Silver, two young mermaids swimming in the bay, they were goners.
“Help us come ashore, we won’t eat you!”
First rule of fairy tales: If someone says they won’t eat you, it means they’ve thought about eating you, and they won’t be able to stop thinking about it until they’ve eaten you.
When the girls come ashore, their tails turn into legs; they can be turned back into fish tails simply by sprinkling them with water. Their tails are long, shiny, and powerful. They seem diminished when they have legs. They have no genitalia, and their backsides are weirdly smooth.
First rule of myth: Beware of people who are not fully human, literally and figuratively, but especially literally.
They sing in a cabaret show, in a venue with a vibe that is reminiscent of early 1990s David Lynch. It’s intoxicating, creepy, and a smidge terrifying. But the only bad thing that happens is that Silver falls in love with a human.
First rule of being a mermaid: Don’t fall in love with a human.
If you’ve read The Little Mermaid, you know what happens next. What was smart about this version of the fairy tale was that the sisters also knew the story of the little mermaid, but to them it was an Old Wives Tale, and they weren’t sure what to believe.
First rule of Old Wives Tales: Always listen to old women!
My narration ends here, so as not to spoil the ending. If you have a free weekday night and you’re looking for something to stream, I recommend The Lure. I loved so many things about it: the lo-fi special effects, the sets and costuming, the relationship between the sisters, and finally, the ending, which brought in elements of the original Hans Christian Andersen story in a fantastically simple way. Also, it’s a musical, albeit a low-key one, with eerily wordless dialogue between the mermaids.