Mermaid/Siren Horror Movies That’ll Lure You Into The Deep


Mermaids are often seen as creatures of beauty and made cute, thanks to films like the Disney adaptations of The Little Mermaid (1989/2023), but mermaids have a dark and horrifying history.

In old mermaid legends, mermaids are mythical creatures known for killing and eating sailors they encountered, and they weren’t sweet, beautiful creatures. 

But even though mermaids have been so horrific throughout history, they have not received much attention in the horror genre.

While some films focus on mermaids, it is an untapped market waiting to be filled with good content.

So, let’s dive into (literally!) the best mermaid horror movies you can watch today.

Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for the movies are included in their descriptions, so do not read those if you don’t want to have potential spoilers.

The Lure (2017)

We start with The Lure, a Polish film filled with gruesome and disturbing moments about two mermaid sisters who leave the sea to become backup singers and strippers for a rock band.

After some time, the sisters make their act, known as The Lure, and the rock and rollers sing backup for them. 

One of the sisters falls in love with the band’s bassist, but the other one, well, she goes down the route of true mermaids. She murders and eats a bar patron, leading her to desire blood and continue murdering throughout the movie. And that is just the beginning of the horror. 

The movie feels disturbing and should not be watched if you have a weak stomach.

Despite its disturbing content, the film still fits in a sad romance about true love and the lengths we are willing to go for it. For the sister, that means death and turning into sea foam. So what are you waiting for?

Watch a pair of mermaid sisters make their way to the land and try to navigate the human world.

The Nymph (2014)

The Nymph, also known as Killer Mermaid or Mamula, is a Serbian film about evil mermaids whose guardians protect a remote island and the unfortunate souls who come there only to be handed over to the mermaids to be seduced, murdered, and then devoured. 

The main characters are two young American women who decide to visit the prison sanctuary even after a local fisherman warns them that it is dangerous. As they explore, they discover more and more horrors that leave them shaking and wondering what mess they have gotten into.

While it seems like a deserted island at first, it is made all too clear that they are not alone, and then the hunt begins. Blood flies, bodies are dropped, and secrets are revealed in this dark horror movie.

The Lighthouse (2019)

While not specifically about mermaids, The Lighthouse does feature a mermaid who plays a crucial role in the film. Overall, it is much more of a Lovecraftian sea horror. It is shot entirely in black and white and is meant to occur in the 19th century. It centers around two lighthouse keepers, Wake and his “wickie,” Winslow. 

Winslow begins to lose his sanity on the island, seeing sea horrors and mermaids around him, leading him deeper and deeper into the spiraling depths of his mental instability. And right before he is about to escape the island, he finds himself indefinitely trapped there as a storm blows in. 

The two men slip into fighting, and as the movie continues, the horrors only intensify, up to the gruesome end that you will not want to miss. So if you are looking for a sea horror with some mermaid horror mixed in, look no further than The Lighthouse.

Siren (2016)

As you can probably guess by the name, Siren is about a mythical creature known as a siren from Greek Mythology, or in this film, also often referred to as a succubus.

This movie is a spin-off of American Horror Story, a TV show that few people care about anymore after they barely got through the first season. 

It tells the story of the main character, Jonah, his brother, and their group of friends as they enjoy a wild bachelor’s party filled with drinking and debauchery. The group has a great time, but this is a horror movie, so things can’t go well for them for long. 

They free a woman they believe to be a sex slave, but lo and behold, she is a siren who can appear as a beautiful mermaid before using her sharp teeth to bite into your body, ripping your flesh from your bones.

The creature haunts Jonah for a year until he finally agrees to go with it to save his wife. 

While it has much of the same vibe as an American Horror Story episode, it is still quite well-developed and perfect for those looking for a bit of land-based mermaid horror.

The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead (2018)

Next up on the list is The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead, a 2018 unrated mermaid horror film that did horribly on Rotten Tomatoes but still got a modest 4.5 on IMDB.

Now, this film is much more of what one would consider real mermaid horror and not what often passes as mermaid horror. 

The film’s premise is that of a young mermaid who falls in love with a man on the land and wishes for him to join her in her aquatic kingdom for the rest of the time, but as you can imagine, he is quite hesitant to do so.

He is another woman’s fiance, and as the movie is based on Slavic mythology, mermaids are said to be unmarried girls who die and become evil spirits. 

However, nothing will stop the young girl, and she will do whatever it takes to get the man she has become obsessed with into her grasp.

While it is dubbed in Russian, the film itself isn’t terrible, but if you are looking for a high-quality film, you should look elsewhere.

Dagon (2001)

Released in 2001, Dagon is a Lovecraftian Horror that combines the traditional cosmic horrors found in Lovecraft’s works and terrifying, mysterious creatures like mermaids and other sea creatures that seek only the death and destruction of everything around them. 

The film takes some inspiration from the short story Dagon but goes its route to flesh out the story the director wanted to tell. It follows a young couple and their two best friends. From the beginning, they are all split up and go missing with no idea where each other is. 

Much of the story follows one of the main characters, Paul, in Imboca, where no one is around. That is because of an ancient evil that lies over the town. If you know anything about Lovecraft, you know that evil is the sea creature known as Dagon. 

He has been reigning over the town for a long time, and his children, half-human and half-fish, kidnap people regularly to feed to their father. It is a gruesome tale that will leave you on the edge of your seat as you fall deeper and deeper into the hole that is Lovecraftian horror.

Lady in the Water (2006)

If you are looking for a film from a master director, look no further than Lady in the Water. It is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and is a fantasy psychological thriller in a style similar to other Shyamalan films, which has made him famous.

The story revolves a Naiad, another mermaid creature, and the man who discovers and saves her from being killed. 

He must decide whether to help her and save all of humanity or he will turn his back on the world, which hasn’t done much for him throughout his life. But time is running out, and if things are not done quickly, the world as we know it will be overrun by evil creatures from the Blue World. 

It is a deep story that should be on everyone’s to-watch list. While the critics may have hated it, it still received a solid 5.5 on IMDB.

Mermaid’s Song (2015)

Mermaid’s Song is what the original Little Mermaid could have been if Disney had not made it and instead focused on the true horrors of mermaids in folklore.

While it does take inspiration from the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the movie takes its spin on the story.

This movie is a dark fairy tale that takes place during the 1930s Depression when a young teenage girl discovers she is a mermaid and can control people with her voice. 

That ability marks her as a siren, and like those who came before her, she turns to the predatory ways of her ancestors. She uses her voice to lure men and kill those who would try to harm her or those she loves even a little bit.

The SFX in the film is quite impressive, and while the dialogue isn’t great at times, Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) plays one of the main characters. 

Overall, it is a fun movie to watch, especially with some friends who aren’t too squeamish about bodies flying and blood spraying about the room.

Mermaids, by the way, aren’t the only predators. Also, check out the best Bear Horror Movies.

Night Tide (1961)

Next up on the list is an oldie, Night Tide, released in black and white in 1961 but still holds up fairly well even today.

There are two main characters: a sailor and a young woman named Mora, a mermaid/siren. She is part of a freak show that was still popular at the time, though she is wearing a fake mermaid costume at this time. 

However, things turn for the weirder as a mysterious creature drowns Mora’s boyfriends, and a sea witch seems to follow Mora around.

That is all I will say about that, as this movie has a good twist that you will not want to miss or have spoiled for you. 

So what are you waiting for? Go pop on this ancient film and give it a watch!

Blue My Mind (2018)

TW: Underage Sexual Intercourse, Drinking, Drugs

A traditional coming-of-age story with a dark twist, Blue My Mind follows 15-year-old Mia as she undergoes strange bodily transformations.

She fights against these changes, absolutely hating everything that happens to her, but unfortunately, nothing is stronger than nature. Not even human determination can overcome it.

While the transformation is quite horrifying, the movie weaves a distressing tale with disturbing moments. Its questionable content makes it unsuitable for anyone under 18. 

It is a heavy movie that makes you sometimes forget that you are watching a mermaid horror movie and leaves you alongside the main character questioning existence.

It is a solid movie to watch, but be aware that you will see a lot of disturbing and uncomfortable content in this film.

If you’re looking for some horror films that aren’t too scary for your offspring, look at the Best Horror Movies for 13-year-olds.

She Creature (2001)

The final movie on the list is She-Creature, another incredibly old film, this one from 1956.

This movie is far from the traditional type of mermaid horror, as the main character is a woman who undergoes cruel hypnotic experiments by a mad doctor, who turns her into a sort of prehistoric sea creature. 

He then uses that creature to commit murders and other atrocities, all while the woman cannot stop him from what he is doing and, at times, is not even aware of the crimes she is committing.

It is a strange movie, but it well deserves its spot on the list of best mermaid movies in the horror genre.

In Closing

Mermaid movies are an underappreciated and underexplored subgenre within horror films. Few exist, and even fewer have made it to the big screen, being developed for TV or direct-to-video instead.

Mermaids in movies are often portrayed as sweet and beautiful.

In the horror version, they are more like the sirens from the Odyssey, i.e., they lure in the sailors with their song and beauty, only to kill them. Like in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), they sing for the pirates and then suddenly grow fangs and attack – one of the few examples of horror mermaids in a blockbuster movie.

If you’re a horror screenwriter, movie producer, or director, you should give this genre a harpoon shot.

You might also like this article on the best puzzle horror movies.

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