The Little Mermaid–with a twist!
Nicholas Humphries, Vancouver Film School (VFS) students Lindsey Mann, Samantha Jewell, Aliya Tarmo, and Justin Simon have taken the mermaid fantasy for a new spin in Psycho Princess: The Little Mermaid. The Psycho Princess series, created by VFS students in a collaborative project known as Compendium, which contain four twisted versions of fairy tale princesses. Visibly inspired by old freak shows at carnivals, The Little Mermaid feature a more aquatic, creature-like mermaid than the standard water-dwelling beauty familiar of the classic tales. While short, it is of no surprise why the film won in categories at the Leo Awards and Screamfest.
Deep in a barren, fantastical wasteland lays a dilapidated circus tent. Inside, an ominous ringmaster forces his prized act, a real live mermaid to perform for a group of grimy, working class spectators. The mermaid, though frightening, is but a lovesick, caged animal praying for release from her endless torture.
The scenery is absolutely melancholic and stunningly creepy reminder of the old carnivals that traveled around small towns parading their freak attractions. In the film, the audience members are wearing decades old clothes and brilliantly enhances the period look. It is surprising to discover “suspected mermaid” is not only “real,” but much different from the Disney Princess Ariel mermaid. The most remarkable features of the mermaid are her gill-like nose with multiple slits and shrimp-like torso and tail, highlighting the talent of the film’s make-up team.
In addition, the mermaid appears to have a ravenous appetite–the attraction goers are repulsed by her actions during feeding time. The owner of the carnival seems to see her only as a way for him to make money, refusing to feed her more fish–there is a beautiful sadness in their forced bond. As horror movies and shorts before have taught us, there is always time for revenge.
The Little Mermaid is a beautiful twist on the popular fairy tale, and would be brilliant to see it produced as a full-length feature, which would allow for more theatrics that shape the personality of the mermaid as well as enhance the magnificent horror vibe.
Produced by Samantha Jewell, Lindsey Mann, Justin Simon and Aliya Tarmo through the VFS Compendium series and Directed by Nicholas Humphries (Riese: Kingdom Falling), The Little Mermaid is a twisted re-imagining of the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale.
Winner: Best Short, Screamfest LA 2011
Source Vancouver Film School