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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Review: Erzulie

Director: Christine W. Chen

Screenplay: Christine W. Chen and Camille Gladney

Year: 2022

Four friends will spend a few days on vacation in a cabin near a river. Not only have toxic deposits been dumped into the river and degraded the water quality, but a man's death was also reported due to what appears to be a creature’s attack. The friends' vacations take an unexpected turn when they meet Erzulie, the goddess of the waters.

It's been a while since I came across a mermaid horror movie, so “Erzulie” caught my attention. Being a low-budget movie, I didn't expect anything great from it, but I did expect to see something different and have a good time. “Erzulie” only met the first of these expectations.

The plot of "Erzulie" is quite simple and predictable, which is used to bring up issues of a social and environmental nature. On the one hand, it brings up the theme of female empowerment and the social injustices that still exist against women, which plays a crucial role in the development of the plot. It also deals less centrally with the environmental issue of illegal discharges of toxic compounds or those that can affect the quality of the water and the balance of the ecosystem. 

As interesting as these themes may seem to integrate into a mermaid horror movie, the idea is much better than the execution. The script is highly inconsistent and does not adequately integrate social and environmental issues into the plot. On the contrary, the development of the plot feels like a constant jump between ideas that do not have a clear relationship with each other and their development does not have much logical continuity either.

For the type of movie it is and the budget it manages, the cast does a good job and is the main attraction to keep the viewer interested, especially with a script as full of dialogue as this one. On the visual side, there is nothing especially attractive, but they fulfill their objective without further ado. The special effects are pretty weak, which is expected for a movie of this budget, but there are always expectations about how creative they can get when deciding to have a mermaid as an essential part of their plot.

“Erzulie” brings a simple plot in which it seeks to make a social critique of social and environmental problems and bets that the characters will overcome the problems of the script. However, the inconsistencies and lack of logic in his story prove to be much stronger than his characters. The lack of creativity with the special effects takes away any possibility of being the least enjoyable.

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