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WIRE Buzz: Mer promises horror-comedy mermaids; Amulet unleashes trailer; Stefon Bristo boards Breathe

By Jacob Oller

Move over, Siren, there’s a new spooky-funny mermaid story about to make a splash. Mer, a horror-comedy that reunites Orange Is the New Black stars Julie Lake and Laura Prepon, has landed at ViacomCBS’ Awesomeness.

Deadline reports that the series, created by Lake and writing partner Liz Storm (Shelly), will feature Prepon as an executive producer and director. The story sees its mermaids as boozy, fancy killers hanging out on Martha’s Vineyard. Sounds a bit like a coast-swapped mermaid version of Santa Clarita Diet.

With feminism front-and-center for the show — which focuses not just on its mythological mermish murderers, but on a young townie that must come to terms with her new mermaid abilities (and desire to eat folks) — the fantastical genre-bender looks to have plenty of sharp things to say through its characters’ sharp teeth.

No stars have yet taken the plunge into Mer.

Next, a new trailer for an upcoming horror movie teases a supernatural element to a straight surface drama. 

Directed by Romola Garai, Amulet sees homeless veteran Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) squatting with the isolated Magda (Carla Juri). Magda seems kindly and Tomaz needs all the kindness he can get, but the circumstances surrounding the housing situation are a Magda’s mother is sequestered on the top floor, never leaving. In the great tradition of spooky horror moms (hi there, Psycho), something’s not quite right.

Check it out:

There’s a demonic presence somewhere in this story, holding Magda in its thrall and tormenting Tomaz — in addition to his wartime guilt and PTSD. Blood, blades, and mysterious idols follow as the paranormal happenings unravel.

Amulet hits theaters and on demand July 24.

Finally, another up-and-comer has landed a genre project. This time it’s Spike Lee acolyte Stefon Bristol (See You Yesterday), whose sci-fi film Breathe landed at Thunder Road Films.

According to Deadline, the film comes from Doug Simon's Black List script about a near future where people aren’t in need of space or water, but clean breathing air. A mother and daughter have to fight for their ability to breathe when two contenders show up after oxygen of their own.

“I am an artist who loves to make personal sci-fi movies about Black characters that are laced with social, political commentary and interpersonal wisdom,” said Bristol. “Breathe will definitely encompass all of that. But, in the same vein, it’s going to be one of those movies that will manhandle your attention, attempt to rip your heart out of your chest, make you pray that these characters come out alive! It’s going to be legit. Straight up!”

The topical high-concept commentary has plenty of others to look to for thrills, themes, and more as Breathe heads to production.

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