Directed by feature-film virgin Andew Hull, Siren is a film that promotes itself, as is the trend, as a sexy, violent horror film that will both terrify and sexually arouse you in equal measure. While this is hardly an innovative or challenging premise for a film, Siren fails to live up to its own meagre image, and the results are hollow.
The plot sees a sexually charged trio of friends rent a sailing boat off the coast of Tunisia to get away from the troubles of urban living. After a clearly disturbed man swims to them from a nearby island and duly dies on their boat, the trio decide to bury him on the island. There, they encounter the mysterious and beautiful Silka, who takes on the role of the titular Siren, and begins playing seductive, telepathic mind-games with the trio.
While the premise makes for a tacky but potentially amusing horror film, the acting and script make the film incomprehensible and hollow. The three protagonists – a sleazy sex freak, a dull nice guy, and a hapless but attractive girl whose heart (or pussy) they both want – are hopelessly one-dimensional. The only treat in the film Tereza Srbova as Silka, but that’s more to do with her stunning looks than her acting skill.
Siren features some decent cinematography. The island setting is both beautiful and haunting, and the hallucination scenes are disorienting in a way that anticipates some eventual explanation. The problem is that there is ultimately no explanation for anything. Siren seems to get stuck in a narrative loop in which the main characters lose each other, trip out, then find each other again only to find that another character has wandered off somewhere. Much of the film therefore is spent with everyone simply shouting each other’s name in desperation (it doesn’t help that one of them is called Marco which, in a desperate bid to entertain myself, makes me want to shout out, ‘Polo’).
To justify its ‘sexy’ image, Siren contains some unexplained soft-core lesbian scenes, much to the disappointment of the men in the film, who are virtually drooling for a filthy four-way. Other sex scenes in the film are off-putting mainly due to Eoin Macken’s disturbingly protruding pecks and lumpy six-pack. The horror aspects of the film are equally unsatisfying, being restricted mainly to one-second flashes of vaguely menacing-looking people covered in blood.
The only extra features to speak of on the DVD are some deleted scenes which, as you can imagine, must’ve been pretty dreary not to make the final cut of this film. Incidentally though, one of these scenes, in which Silka tells Rachel a story about how she came to be on this island, goes some way to explaining why Silka is such a seducing, vengeful bitch.
Siren is a poor film by a first-time director whose background in art direction does shine at points. There is some mesmerising surreal imagery in the film that provides a good backdrop for the hallucinatory style of horror that is being attempted here. Sadly, Siren fails to meet the relatively low benchmark that most contemporary horror films demand. It fails to provide cheap shocks, and the acting is too hollow to make the film sexy. As such, there really is nothing to see here… unless you want to vacantly gawp at the beautiful, but untalented, Tereza Srbova.
Best performance: There really is little performance to speak of…
Try these instead: Deathproof, The Hunger