New “Little Mermaid” Takes A Dark Turn

( If you’re looking for a good scare, watch the new trailer for “The Little Mermaid,” which came out on Thursday. It is a bit disturbing.

While there have been whispers about the film for some time, people will not be prepared for how unpleasant the story of this aquatic fairy tale seems to be when performed by actual human performers rather than cartoons.

Disney+ has announced they will soon release the “The Little Mermaid remake.” And this appears like it could be another terrible misstep in the land of “uncanny valley.” It may not be a universe one wants to visit. It’s all a little bit creepy.

The “uncanny valley” is a word that occurs when confronted with self-representations that are very close to us but off in enough ways that the viewer is left uncomfortably disoriented. An excellent example of this is The Polar Express. Tom Hanks is fully drawn but seems robotic, and the landscape is vague and dark. It’s like watching an alternative universe where they have their own version of Tom Hanks.

Except for the short instant when Ariel (Halle Bailey) leans in to kiss Prince Eric, the underwater scenes are frightening (Jonah Hauer-King). Trailers sometimes highlight the most visually stunning features of films, so maybe the final result will resemble less of a terrifying movie and more of the iconic cartoon that we are all acquainted with and appreciate.

Considering the cast, one must expect these performers to provide stellar performances.

Melissa McCarthy in the role of Ursula seems almost too good to be true. Bur most movie-goers would check out the film no matter who was in it.

The original trailer included several up-close images that soften the horror of the situation.

Maybe the film can be enjoyable once you become comfortable with the notion that there is another universe under the sea, populated by humans.