Not Your Ordinary Mermaid

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I was having a look around today when I came upon a teaser from the Vancouver Film School (VFS) for a very new and exciting interpretation of The Little Mermaid. This is obviously not the Disney-style version, being a straight film rather than a musical and live action rather than animation. 

The teaser suggests that the mermaid is a traveling carnival attraction, not unlike a film from 1961 titled Night Tide, which I recently watched at the monthly Time Traveling Cinema event at SoDo Theatre in downtown Champaign. In both cases the mermaid was a carnival attraction, and in both cases it is implied that something sinister has happened or is about to happen. In Night Tide, the conflict arises from whether or not the woman in question believes herself to be more than just a woman in a costume; she battles the idea that she may in fact be an actual mermaid. In the VFS teaser, the mermaid is obviously very real, made certain by the long pan up the side of a bathtub, beginning at the revelation of her tail. The tub shot is interspersed with quick shots of the tent setup and other atmospheric splices. When the camera finally lands on the mermaid's face, it is clear that this mermaid is different from just about any other depiction on film. She is not what would be considered traditionally beautiful, having what appear to be gills on either side of her face. She speaks briefly to a man lurking in the background of the shot--saying something that sounds like "please"--before the teaser comes to an end. 

Though the teaser is all atmosphere and very little story detail, it was well done and encouraged the viewer to take a closer look. It gives enough of a sense of intrigue mixed with just a touch of dread, while refusing to give away any actual plot details. It is interesting to note that this short film won an award for Best Short Film at Screamfest 2011 in Los Angeles. I'll have to do some more digging to see if I can dredge up the rest of this film, as I'd love to see it in its entirety.

You can check out the teaser on FilmAnnex here: 

About the author


I have loved movies for my entire life. I love all kinds of movies: action/adventure, romantic comedy, horror/scary, dramas of all kinds – they’re my escape from the ruts in which we can so easily find ourselves. I used to want to be a movie star when I was a…

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