If there’s anything better than a film about the horrors of puberty, it’s one that involves a terrifying transformation. Better yet when that transformation is of the mermaid variety. I don’t think there’s been a premise for a film more perfectly aligned to the Collab’s mission than this week’s title…except for perhaps every other mermaid horror we’ve featured.
Blue My Mind
As she grows up, teen Mia notices changes to her body a little less connected to puberty, a little more connected to merpeople.
Following a move, Swiss teenager Mia is forced to attend a new school midway through the year. Drawn to the group of students who seem to be having the most fun, Mia decides to work her way into the popular, rebellious crowd led by queen bee Gianna. A challenge as she’s not particularly cool or memorable in…anyone’s eyes, really.
At home, Mia exhibits increasingly volatile behavior, pushing her mother away literally and figuratively, and snacking on the fish in the family aquarium. When she earns a spot with the cool kids at last, Mia is introduced to a group of teens giggling about sex, winkingly setting up an online dating profile for her, and involving her with their autoerotic asphyxiation games.
Immediately after getting her period for the first time, Mia notices some extra strange symptoms, beginning with the newly formed webbing between her toes. Visiting the doctor’s office the next day, Mia learns that the webbing is a genetic birth defect, though it’s a recent development for her. When she returns home and snacks on more of the pet fish, Mia’s lie that she flushed the fish earns her the dismay of her parents.
While Mia begins to suspect she’s adopted and that something is horribly wrong with her, she becomes increasingly interested in hooking up with men. Though she scores a date with a much older man thanks to that dating profile her new friends created, Mia eventually pursues one of the popular crowd around her own age. Meanwhile, she seems to be mutually attracted to Gianna.
Feeling less and less in control as her body sprouts scales and becomes unrecognizable, Mia seems headed for a major, irreversible change.
3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads
This is a bit of an arthouse Mean Girls body horror with queer undertones–an excellent combination. We appreciate a mermaid horror always; Jordan Peele, please do your magic and make this the substantial horror subgenre it’s destined to be.
I appreciate that Mia isn’t always particularly likeable, and her angst makes her do quite a few mean-spirited and irresponsible things. She’s a teenager going through a terrifying time and largely being gaslit by the adults in her life; it makes sense that she’d act out.
It’s also quite powerful that it’s Mia’s connection to her newfound best friend Gianna that saves her (spoiler/not really a spoiler). Having someone to care about her and help her is necessary for Mia’s survival when it comes down to it. That being said, I would have liked for the film to be a bit more openly queer, as the Mia/Gianna relationship teases this but borders on queerbaiting.
Additionally, I wish Mia had the opportunity to have a little more fun with her mermaid status or at least bite some people in the style of some other mermaid horror we’ve enjoyed. Alas, a perpetual dream as most films don’t have nearly enough scenes of mermaids ripping out the throats of sketchy dudes.
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