Nymph, or “Killer Mermaid” as it’s known in the states – is a Serbian monster movie about a murderous fish-bottomed lady a la Ariel but without the red hair and Disney smile – her teeth are pointier. The American title takes away a certain je-ne-c’est quoi right?

The film takes a mythological character with a pinch of fairy-tale and creates a quirky camp creature feature that relies on lady flesh – the pretty kind, not the maimed or rotten or bloody kind to sell the story. I’m always wary of a film that relies on pretty ladies – yes, of course, it was expected with a film called ‘Nymph’ and a mermaid whose half naked half scaly, but when it’s the sole selling point you know instinctively that the content is going to be severely lacking. And, surprise, surprise, it was.

Also, it’s fair to say that when you’re served up a female protagonist in a horror film, e.g. woman as monster, her deadly trait is mainly her ability to mercilessly seduce and capture men with her stunning looks. For me, this feels a little old fashioned and equates to a yawn-fest. Kelly (Kristina Klebe) and Lucy (Natalie Burn) fancy a holiday in Montenegro a. to take in the sights and b. to meet up with Lucy’s ex-boyfriend Alex (Slobodan Stefanovich) as Lucy is hoping to rekindle their college romance. Unfortunately all does not go to plan as Alex’s fiancée Yasmin (Sofija Rajovich) tags along for the ride.

The three of them are joined by macho muscle-man of the group, Boban (Dragan Micanovich), and set out to sea adventures. After taking in an abandoned Army base and an abandoned prison, they moor at an isolated island that the Nazis once used for unethical experiments. Which feels like horror 101 – don’t go into the historical Nazi experiment island!

The gang witness a creepy old sailor emptying some scraps into a well and investigate only to find a gen-u-ine real-life rather pretty mermaid. They are then stalked all over the island by the creepy old sailor before hitching a boat ride back to shore with the original Django himself Italian legend, Franco Nero.

Have you spotted the flaw yet?

Without creepy old sailor guy terrorising the gang in order to preserve the secret of the fish-lady, where is the horror? She can’t walk; she can’t go on land because… she’s a mermaid. After maybe one ill-fated run in with her they can stick to land and avoid a watery grave. That’s why there’s so much reliance on her ability to make men swoon and therefore lure them to her lair, but it just feels flat.

Apart from jumping across the bow of the boat and some sultry struggling in a giant fish net, she’s not that much of a threat.

There is definitely thought behind Nymph but it’s a little misguided and too simplistic. And the mermaid-effects are shocking. If you want to branch out in the creature feature genre maybe invest in a better monster mask for your mermaid…

 

VERDICT: [rating=2]

About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing - although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.