Calling all Disney fanatics with a penchant for nightmarish twists: You'll probably want to check out this horrifying new Mermaid's Song trailer. The chilling preview, which saw its inaugural release on YouTube Monday, Sept. 17, only runs for a little over a minute, but rest assured, that's more than enough time for audiences to get a sense of what they might be in for when Mermaid's Song premieres on video on demand roughly 24 hours from now.
After personally bearing witness to the trailer's exceedingly malevolent vibe, it seems audiences can expect a little bit of the familiar, and a whole lot of the unfamiliar, from this particularly chilling iteration of childhood folklore.
Bottom line: If the trailer is any indication of what's to come, it looks like Mermaid's Song is going to feel something like The Little Mermaid meets Game of Thrones, with a touch of classic literature thrown in for good measure. Oh, and a whole lot of gore. Seriously, this trailer — and presumably the full-length movie, too — is definitely not for the faint of heart.
As the trailer's credits note, Mermaid's Song draws inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen's 19th-century novella, The Little Mermaid. That being said, at a glance, Mermaid's Song looks like a pretty stark, and exceedingly sinister, departure from the Disney classic most modern mermaid enthusiasts are probably familiar with. Per the studio's description, "The film is set during the 1930s Depression and tells of young Charlotte, who is struggling to keep the family business afloat."
Charlotte, by the way, is a mermaid. Not the whimsical Ariel-esque kind that's been popularized, but the comparatively creepier kind from early mythology, sometimes known for their murderous rampages. (Honestly, Andersen's original Little Mermaid fit that bill to a certain extent, especially toward the end.) Whether or not Charlotte is a murderous mermaid, per say, remains to be seen. But the trailer's description reveals that her powers are sort of akin to those of a mythical Siren, "capable of controlling humans with nothing but her voice."
Enter: Randall, a so-called "gangster" who offers to help Charlotte out with her family's sinking finances, but "demands some illegal changes to the business" in return.
Randall seems pretty sleazy, but Game of Thrones fans might take a liking to him, anyway. The character is played by Iwan Rheon, who GoT enthusiasts might remember as Ramsay Bolton, perhaps one of the most unlikeable characters in the series' history. (After the character was killed back in 2016, Rheon told Bustle that, like so many GoT fans, he was glad to see Ramsay go.) Of course, just because his GoT character was a bona-fide menace doesn't mean that Rheon himself is, but here's hoping Randall demonstrates a few more redeeming qualities than Ramsay did.
As far as the trailer? Beyond its expertly-timed montage of jump scares and an aesthetic that'd give actual '30s noir films a run for their money, quite a bit is left up to the viewer's imagination. The tail end of the film's description offers a bit of context as to what the heck is going on, albeit, in pretty vague terms. Tension between Charlotte and Randall, which plays out a bit in the Mermaid's Song trailer, apparently gives way to a full-fledged battle, "between all of those who want Charlotte's magical powers for themselves."
Sounds pretty messy, no? From the looks of the new Mermaid's Song trailer, it seems safe to say that it most definitely will be. Luckily, inquiring fans will only have to wait another day or so to find out for sure.