Macabre…ish Horror Review: Erzulie
Erzulie, 2022/ 1 hr 26 min
Some friends Wendy (Courtney Oliviér), Ari (Diana Rose), Fay (Zoe Graham), Violet (Elizabeth Trieu) and Allison (Haley Raines), book a stay at a camp to reconnect but then discover they cannot swim in the river because a man died during Spring Break, presumably he died by alligator.
A few of these women are going through major life changes right now and they really need this trip.
Later that evening, Wendy goes outside by herself to do a ritual and the others are right behind her. She’s casting a spell to the mermaid goddess, Erzulie, she is a protector of women. Wendy continues on with the ritual by the river for blessings.
The other’s kind of think it’s weird but then something happens to change their minds about it and they join in. All but one, Fay, who while walking back, is grabbed by a vine and dragged to the ground.
Back inside, they light candles and complete the spell, they each speak their fears out loud. Once again, someone (Ari) storms off before it’s over.
Outside, a man, Pierce (Patrick Grover), collects bottles of the now glowing liquid out of the water and packs them in a cooler. He and the manager, Rhett (Jason Kilpatrick), have some kind of side deal that they are trying to keep under wraps.
The next day, Wendy wakes up with a rash, Fay’s stalker leaves her a message, Ari is gone to finish her part of the spell on her own and dead fish are popping up on the surface of the river.
On the way to breakfast, they find a woman (Leila Annastasia Scott) lying on the ground, they carry her to safety and look for help. She refuses to go to the hospital though. Her wounds are cleaned and she’s fallen into unconsciousness.
Then, James (Alexander Biglane), Fay’s ex and stalker, arrives. But she’s busy making out with Violet as he watches through the window. Suddenly, the injured woman opens her eyes. She materializes behind James and drags him down the street. His gutted remains end up in the pool.
Later, the group discover the lady is gone and follows foot prints, hers and a man’s, to the pool. Upon closer inspection they recognize James and sees the woman they rescued, a mermaid, Erzulie, swimming in the pool. She offers them wishes for their kindness, she’s being hunted and not only did they summon her but they also rescued her.
Wendy immediately knows what she wants, revenge against men. While they decide what to do, they retrieve James’ remains. Allison runs into Pierce who was collecting glowing water earlier, he’s sneaking around.
Fay freaks out and wants to just leave but when Erzulie confronts her, Violet confesses to wishing for James’ death, to keep her safe. Wendy announces that she will take responsibility and they’ll go.
Rhett arrives to confront them when he sees his ATV in front of their room and he knows what’s going on. He confronts them with a gun and searches the property. Evidently the mermaid is a known secret in his family and he’s been trying to capture it ever since his step mother started talking about it.
The women get the drop on him and defend themselves and once again, Fay has a problem with it. Meanwhile, Erzulie has escaped back to the river and finds Pierce there, examining a barrel of industrial waste, floating in the river.
And then more of Rhett’s associates arrive just as the women are leaving. These men terrorize these women to find out how to call Erzulie back. Rhett directs the men to set up a trap, they intend to make her a side show attraction. But the guys are terrified the mermaid might be real and that she’s the reason for the river deaths, not alligators. They were right to be scared.
Once it’s all over, Mrs. Lafitte (Timeca M. Seretti), the property owner, connects the rest of the dots of what’s going on here and she has a plan to save the women and deals with Rhett and the mess he created.
This indie is a fantasy horror film directed by Christine W. Chen. This flick is paced and cast well, good cinematography and is a good story. There’s a little bit of effects which are fine. There’s some blood and guts in this movie but it’s not a gore fest or blood bath, just enough of both to make the point. Expect violence but this movie is about the story, which I really enjoyed! Well done. Find the podcast episodes with the director Christine Chen at Macabre…ish Cults, Classics & Horrors Podcast, out everywhere or click here
P.S. I really appreciate the cultural mix and that all the women were just damsels in distress or simply there to become monster fodder. No gratuitous nudity or sex scenes. Well developed female characters. An intriguing story is always appreciated and this movie has one.