Wednesday, October 12, 2016
DIRECTOR: Gregg Bishop
Michael Aaron Milligan
Brittany S. Hall
Jonah is just on the verge of getting married, so he and his three mates head off for his bachelor party. The plan is to have a wild night of strippers, drinking, and drugs. The first strip joint that they attend turns out to be a bust. When a strange man tells the four guys about this club that has the best women around, they follow this man to an isolated mansion, where they end up unleashing a fabled predator who lures men to their death.
When I went into Siren, I was well aware that the movie was a feature-length movie based on the short film Amateur Night from the horror anthology film V/H/S. I hadn't rewatched V/H/S since its release back in 2012. So now going into Siren, I knew that I wouldn't be able to thoroughly compare the short against the anthology as I'm a bit sketchy on the details. I don't remember much about the short other than the short played much scarier when compared to Siren.
Siren opens with our fabled creature. She has just killed off a group of cult members and a security guard. We see that the siren has done some damage and is captured by our film's human villain using what appears to be an ankle monitor, only this one is cursed or something. He ends up keeping her locked up in his isolated bordello. This doesn't come into play until a little later as we are then introduced to our four male characters who are celebrating their main mate's bachelor party.
When we are introduced to the four males, it feels very similar to 'The Hangover'. I immediately notice that three of the four leads look like doppelgangers of Dane Cook, Sebastian Stan and Ed Helms who was actually in The Hangover. So every single joke or silly, comedic moments had me thinking that the movie was very inspired by that series which I'm sadly not a big fan of. I can't say that I loved or connected with the early scenes in this film.
It's not until these four male characters get to the bordello that I started to enjoy the movie more. It's when our lead character releases the siren that things get crazy. This is where I got most of my joy with this film. The movie is only entertaining when our siren is on screen, and she is wreaking havoc. The rest of the time that we spend with the four guys who are being picked off one by one, I really couldn't care less about the characters. I felt no connection or sympathy for them.
Visually, I think Siren had a few entertaining set pieces. There is a cafe attack scene where our main guy puts a pair of earbuds in his ears to stop him from falling under her spell. As he's trying to escape her grasp, we hear muffled screams and thuds as characters are being tossed around him in slow motion. I also thought that the movie has a trippy and fun drug hallucination scene early on. I found myself enjoying a lot of the camera tricks and setups in this film.
The acting in the film is alright. The standout for me is Hannah Fierman as the siren. She barely utters a word throughout the film, but when she is acting, she is doing it with her eyes, you can feel innocence and malice in equal doses. I thought she was great. Chase Williamson is our leading man in this film, and while his character early on has the intention to cheat on his fiance and I thought he was a douche bag, I still think the guy is a decent actor. He was great in both Siren and Beyond The Gates.
My most significant issues with Siren fall back on plot points not getting any closure. We have a scene where the siren anally rapes our main character with her tail. Now for the rest of the film, I thought that this was going to lead to something gross like him being impregnated with some demon spawn. Instead, it was literally her shoving her tail up his ass. Early on, we see the human villain put a chain anklet on her. It's explained that it calms her urges to kill. I would've loved some backstory on how the villain came into possession of it.
I get that a lot of movies can work without the need for backstory and having things left unexplained as it makes things bleaker, more mysterious or it gets left up to the audiences own interpretation. But a lot of the moments within the story felt like they would've worked better with giving us more about the siren. I also think that another nitpick of mine with siren came at the end of the film. I found the ending very similar to Jeepers Creepers, right down to the scream and the visuals of the Siren taking off into the night sky. The visuals in this scene were a little cheesy.
DEATH TOLL: 11
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Dead bodies of cult members are shown.
- A security guard's jaw is ripped off.
- A man has his throat ripped out, and his penis ripped off.
- A guy is dragged away by a monster and killed.
- Someone is hit by a car.
- A police officer has his throat ripped out.
- A police officer has his cheek torn out.
- A guy is killed and by being slammed against a wall.
- The siren uses her tail to anally rape a man.
- A crowbar hammered down into someone's knee.
- Someone has their throat ripped out.
- Someone is stabbed and has their throat sliced.
- Someone gets a tail through the head.
Siren was very hit and miss for me. What felt like a mixture of The Hangover meets Jeepers Creepers, the tone was all over the place. The creature elements were more successful than any of the comedic stuff. I think the movie has a few neat ideas, but the execution wasn't great. Entire plot points, characters, and scenes happen in the film that is never explained or fully realised. This is one of those movies that you go in for the creature and gore as these are the winning elements of SiREN.