Review: SIREN (2010) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Review: SIREN (2010)

RATING: 0.5/5

UK's Maxim has hailed this as "The Best Supernatural Thriller Since DEAD CALM". Coupled with a salaciously-designed poster that has a woman in a bikini holding a knife, one would immediately expect that Andrew Hull's first feature debut (who previously art-directed 2007's P2) in SIREN is a killer promise of sex, violence and horror. Even the tagline also reads as "an exotic tale of lust and revenge". But thanks to the misleading marketing strategy, SIREN turns out to be a shockingly frustrating experience.

The first 5 minutes, however, does set a luscious tone to keep one hooked to the screen: Somewhere on an open freeway, a sultry-looking woman in mini red dress is seen walking along the road where she later stumbles a man kind enough to give her a ride. As they are on a journey together, the man can't stop peeking at her sexy body. The woman, in turn, is trying to flirt with him. Soon he pulls over at a public restroom since the woman wants to take a break. But she is actually intended to lure him into the restroom. The man hesitates no further, and decides to make his move. She is waiting inside one of the toilet stalls and once he arrives, they started to kiss passionately. They almost end up having sex together, but abruptly cut short when she is shocked to see someone is spying on them. Except the person she claims she have seen in the place isn't there. Then it all turns out to be that these two "strangers" are actually engaging in role-playing sex game. Now that's a good sexual tease to begin with.

Too bad as the story proper begins to take place, everything goes downhill. So the two "strangers" are actually couples named Ken (Eoin Macken) and Rachel (Anna Skelern). They are on the way to a foreign beach paradise, where they will be joined by Rachel's longtime friend Marco (Anthony Jabre) for a weekend vacation on a boat trip. As they set off into the ocean, there are some conflicts going on. Marco has actually confesses to Rachel that he really wish they can be together. Jealously arises as Marco feels uncomfortable when he overheard Rachel and Ken are making love below the deck. Then something else happens -- Marco spots a stranded man signaling with a mirror from an distant island. He figures the man needs help, and decides to change the boat's course. Once they arrive, they discover the stranded man turns to be an unkempt bearded person (Abdelkader Ben Said) is speaking gibberish and acting mad. The man gradually grows insane, waving a blade and starts to bleed from his ears. Within minutes, he collapses and dies all of the sudden. Worrying they might face difficulty with the local authorities since they are in the foreign country, they decide to bury the dead man in the sand. But another problem surfaces, and this time it's a nervous-looking blonde girl named Silka (Tereza Srbova) who has been watching them from nearby. The girl runs away but they manage to catch up on her. Rachel tries to calm her down but the girl is too traumatized and barely spoken a word. So they decide to bring her back to the boat and give her some hospitality. Soon Ken and Marco start to feel distracted by the presence of Silka. It turns out that Silka is capable to seduce and control their mind, making them seeing strange occurrences and such. Just who exactly is Silka anyway?

That's the intriguing question posed in this movie. No doubt the genre combination of DEAD CALM with a supernatural twist immediately sparks an interest. Unfortunately Andrew Hull and Geoffrey Gunn's screenplay is a total cop-out, or should I say, a piece of crap. Had the movie explores more on the seductive angle between Ken, Rachel, Marco and Silka -- it would have been a guilty pleasure entertainment. Instead all those supernatural undertones (where the trio are seeing random things) are so badly executed it's not horrifying at all. The story doesn't really explains the strange existence of Silka who somehow possesses the "siren" capability, in which she is able to bleed her victims' ear to death by singing tunes (no kidding).

If that's not insulting enough, Andrew Hull's direction is awfully pedestrian. Despite its handsome-looking production, he just doesn't know how to sustain a good pace. Everything seems to be running around in circles, with redundant thrills to the point of sheer boredom. Make no mistake, this is the kind of movie you really wanna hit the fast-forward button.

As for the cast, all four actors here are average at best and none of them particularly stands out. SIREN could have been a potential thriller, but the movie is just plain amateurish. It's so obvious that Hull has a long way to go to improve his craft in directing. Except it's a shame that Hull passed away shortly after the completion of the movie. According to the news, he died at the Royal London Hospital on May 8 due to head injury as a result of a fall from his bicycle.

Give this a miss.

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