Scales: Mermaids Are Real (2017)

dir. Kevan Peterson

This one is genuinely mind-blowing. In a sense it’s a typical fantasy movie for kids – an unassuming girl discovers she has magical powers. In this film, rather than a witch or a vampire slayer, it turns out she’s a mermaid. Aside from some very awkward and specific rules around how exactly the physiology of mermaids works, it’s pretty standard fare. All the expected cringeworthy dialogue and clichéd characters. But then the ending happens. My God, the ending. There are no words to convey the shock of this movie’s abrupt and unexpected switch into an extremely dark, disturbing tone. Except the movie itself doesn’t even seem to realise it’s done it, and it skips merrily along to its conclusion as though everything is normal. Leaving the audience stunned, and probably a bit traumatised.

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