Wednesday, July 19, 2017

SiREN (2016)

SiREN (2016): Based on the segment 'Amateur Night' from V/H/S (2012); written by Nicholas Tecosky, Luke Piotrowski, Ben Collins, and David Bruckner; directed by Gregg Bishop; starring Chase Williamson (Jonah), Hannah Fierman (Lily/ The Lilith/Siren), Justin Welborn (Nyx), Hayes Mercure (Rand), Michael Aaron Milligan (Mac), Randy McDowell (Elliott), Brittany Hall (Bartender), and Lindsey Garrett (Eva): Spun off from a segment of the original V/H/S anthology film, SiREN is really good once you get beyond that silly title. A bachelor party goes extraordinarily awry when a stripper at a private (and very odd) club turns out to be one of the mythical Sirens. Or maybe a "Lilith," which is what the club's proprietor keeps calling her (hence the name "Lily"). 

The result is a fairly taut 80 minutes with so much female nudity I started wondering halfway through if this movie had been made in the Go-Go 70's. Nope. The film-makers handle the scares and the grotesque with a grungy, occasionally startling style -- the 'true' appearance of the Siren comes as a nice reveal. The bachelor party members are not impressively delineated as individuals, but the characterization is passable and the performances fairly naturalistic.

The Siren's club is a nicely handled conceit -- the supernatural bar that you should never have entered. Its owner, occultist Nyx, bears a weird resemblance to Paul Williams. There are some solid, fantastic bits involving memories, magic, and Medusa. The film also shows us brief glimpses of all the supernatural events going on at the club without going into them, making the glimpses that much more effective at inspiring unease. Overall, an enjoyable horror movie on a limited budget from Universal's Chiller Films brand. Recommended.

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