Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Film Review: Siren (2010)

Modern horror films and thrillers have always lacked something in my eyes, they are stale copies of what was for me the golden era of the two genres, from the late sixties through most of the eighties.

Most of the gore filled plot less drivel that is churned out today doesn't hold a candle to such better produced models such as a majority of the Hammer Horror catalog or such groundbreaking American works such as The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror.

There also is something missing in the thriller department since the age of Hitchcock, with the modern counterparts to such classics as Rear Window and The Birds lacking the tone and feel that made them so easy to immerse yourself in their fictional worlds as well as making them instant classics.

Siren takes a step back that is also quite a step forward in this regard, it is a film that although it dabbles in the modern horror cinema's blood and sex driven scenes it does so with a regard for the fact that it is putting a very simple story to the cameras as well as harking back to the days when a good horrific thriller was more about what was implied then what was seen.




Film is of course a visual art and the first thing I must comment on is the excellent use of gorgeous locations in Tunisia by the  late writer/director Andrew Hull, which shows a much different side of the locations beauty than that seen in other films that have used the area for filming, such as a majority of the Star Wars films.

The water looks like you can reach out and feel it and you can imagine the clean white sand between your toes.

Of course the meat of any good scary film is the monster and here too the film shines as it takes the old myth of the Siren calling mariners to their deaths on the rocks in a new modern direction that is refreshing. Also worthy of praise is that this not a vampire or werewolf or mummy film, as it attempts to modernize one of the lesser known and more forgotten terrors of our own past.

 It does at times seem a bit too simple as we obviously know what is coming from the moment the Siren does an appearing disappearing act on the docks before three friends set sail, but this is like saying that Paranormal Activity was ruined by the fact you knew it had ghosts in it.

I do wish the idea and motives of the Siren were explored a bit more as I like a bit more background to my story lines, but it also makes the film feel like a random snapshot out of four lost lives, so where it fails in back story it makes up for it in the claustrophobic feel and pace of the film.


Despite the almost short story nature of the story the ideals and morals of our main characters Ken ( are quickly established through simple dialogue that lets us instantly identify who's who, from the sex driven bad boy Ken (Eoin Macken -Merlin-), good gut Marco (Anthony Jabre) and the ultimate hero and protagonist of the piece, the sexy yet morally correct Rachel (Anna Skellern).

All told the three along with Siren Silka (Tereza Srbova), give excellent performances that add to the story with what they do without saying anything, whether it be being seduced or dying covered in blood from the siren's scream.

Shockingly this film seems to have gotten low scores on such sites as the Internet Movie Database but I was pleased to find that most reviews have a more positive take on the thriller.

This movie may not be for you if you want a genre film filled with blood and guts but if you are looking for a simpler well crafted take that brings back memories of when the story was king and monsters scared more with presence and menace rather then special effects then you would do well to let your ears follow the Siren's call.

-Thomas Spychalski


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