What I'm Watching: SiREN
Hello, Triskets, and welcome back to another quick review. Up for grabs this time is "SiREN" or as I am going to call it, Siren. Because I don't want to play silly capitalisation games that have no meaning.
Siren is about your typical stag party going to your typical strip club. And let me tell you, I absolutely love that they go to a *total dive*. It's a refreshing change from the perfect club with the perfect woman, and everything is shiny and bright and great. But they get bored with the blehness of it, and some guy tells them about this great underground place they can go to instead, that will really rock their socks off.
And it does! It's strange and bizarre and wonderful, in an almost "Eyes Wide Shut" way. it's exactly the sort of special night they wanted to celebrate Jonah's last night of singledom.
But when he goes off to a private show, he meets Lily, a strange, ethereal beauty that entrances him. And I mean that literally at times, as well as figuratively. After she performs and he has an amazing, indescribable experience, he discovers she's locked in, trapped, held against her will, and saves her.
But oops, she's also a monster, and her captors want her back.
If this sounds maybe a little bit familiar, good. Because this is a spinoff/expansion on one of the shorts from the first VHS films, and one of my favourites from that. And they brought back Hannah Fierman to play Lily. As I said in the earlier review, she has this amazing beauty about her, this unique look to her, that really draws you in, and is perfect for capturing you off guard with that eerie innocence when she pounces on you. Such a great dichotomy they play up to great effect.
One of the best parts of the original short was the creature makeup/effects. It was original, it was truly monstrous and horrific, and sticks with me to this day. I don't think the look in this movie was quite up to snuff, though. It's not bad, it has it's moments, but I did not find it as effective as the original. The acting sells it way more than the look.
There's not a lot of surprised here, it's a very straightforward story. You know going in Lily is a monster, either because you've seen VHS, you've seen the trailer, you've seen the *poster* for the movie, or just the first five minutes tell you that. But it is a nice play on normal tropes that the girl who is the monster, isn't the REAL monster. The real threat is her captors at the club, and they lead the chase to reclaim their property before she escapes.
But even though it's not full of twists and turns, it's almost refreshing to just have a straightforward movie with some good blood and gore. You feel for the monster one moment, and then are horrified when she kills someone between her and Jonah the next.
It doesn't really add much more to the original short film, but the round out the story nicely, and at 80 minutes, it moves along at a nice pace. The biggest addition is this supernatural, strange, underground club, and that's a fascinating setting you could do lots of things with, and "Siren" uses it to great effect.
The bad guy, Nyx, is utterly enthralling in his own right. He's got charm and charisma, and keeps the darkness of the character in check until it's needed to be threatening. You feel utterly sucked in by him, and he seems like a nice enough guy, until you cross him. In a lot of ways, that makes him a great foil for Lily. They're very similar in their methodologies, but Lily is the more literal monster, and Nyx is a more metaphorical one.
If you liked the short, this is almost a must see, just for more Hannah. But it's a solid enough story in its own right, even with a few campy moments, hammy acting here and there, and no big surprises. The biggest surprise is that the movie has a sort of happyish ending, which much like the story, is very refreshing to have a horror movie end on something of an upbeat note. I mean, it's not a GREAT ending for the characters, but it could be worse, and it could be very depressing, but there's almost a romantic kind of poetic nature to it. Definitely check it out!