Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What I watched last night....

Last night I sat through a new release from Lions Gate, namely Siren. Not to be confused with the Hugh Grant film from 1993, that's Sirens. The "s" makes all the difference.
This one is a 'horror' film. Or it wants to be, at least.
Lions Gate have been distributing some good films over the past few years, "Saw" (and its sequels) "Drag Me To Hell" the "My Bloody Valentine" remake, and the brilliant British film, "Heartless" (which I can't recommend highly enough) plus loads more, some good some bad. A bit like a modern day Hammer, or at least Amicus, in taking up the role of distributor for low budget or outsider films. Something I think we need now. Hammer films have re-surfaced after a false start a few years back, with the remake of "Let The Right One In" , entitled "Let Me In". And it wasn't the complete disaster that people were expecting. No where near as good as the original, though. We can only hope the upcoming version of the hit stage play (and novel) "The Woman In Black" will prove to be the hit they need. I personally have reservations about Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role of Kipps, he still seems a little young for it, but lets see how they pull it off, I'd be happy to be surprised.  Lets hope they don't spoil the wonderful atmosphere the play has, and the fondly remembered (but a bit hit and miss) TV version which was screened many Christmas' ago, then disappeared after author Susan Hill apparently didn't like it. Bootlegged copies of the long deleted Region one DVD still appear now and again on Ebay, though. Another reservation about the new film though is the director (James Watkins) has only directed one feature before, "Eden Lake" and his writing credits are dubious ("My Little Eye", anyone?) and Mrs Jonathan Ross, Jane Goldman isn't a one I would have thought to have the subtlety  to handle the screenplay, good for "Kick Ass" but a psychological ghost story? Hmmm... again, I'd like to be surprised.
Anyway, Siren is a film that wants to be so much more than it can be. The premise is good, if a little predictable. But sadly the acting lets it down, and the male lead, played by Eoin Macken, is a little annoying and incredibly wooden. I know the Irish are notorious for their swearing, and indeed, I'm no F-bomb stranger myself, but does almost EVERY line of dialogue have to be along the lines of "What the f....." The non siren female Anna Skellern doesn't do much better in the acting stakes, but then this might be something to do with the material they have to work with! Just to tie in all this, Anna was in "The Descent part 2", one of the screenwriters of which was James Watkins, WIB director.. I don't just throw this together you know... ahem.
So, all the promise of sex and gore and shocks and thrills that "Siren" promises.. well, come to nothing really.. Some grunting sex (actually the most horrific part of the film!) and some typical fast cut shocks/jumps and surprises that you can see coming a mile off.... Check out the trailer for yourself, and don't say I didn't warn you....


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