I’m not a fan of found footage anything. I’ve made that abundantly clear in several reviews, posts, comments, and rantings in movie theaters. In fact, with few exceptions, I think found footage has become the go-to for lazy amateurs and hack producers. That said, I’ve been surprised over the years by pieces like Frankenstein’s Army and the anthology series V/H/S. The first installment of V/H/S in 2012 gave us some incredible, creepy shorts, including one of my favorite, and aptly named films from the series called Amateur Night. The story follows a group of college guys who’ve bought a pair of glasses with a camera built into the center with a goal of making clandestine amateur porn with random girls they pick up in a bar. Unfortunately for them, they bite off more than they can chew when an unusual young woman named Lily (Hannah Fierman) is coerced into joining them in their motel room. We’ll skip past the puerile premise behind their night to the awesome monster that Lily really is. The problem is first hinted at as she’s being undressed and the camera catches a glimpse at her gnarled, monstrous looking feet. Within minutes, the situation descends into anarchy as she begins to tear apart two of the three college boys trying to take advantage of her. Her face splits down the middle as if unzipped to reveal some sort of unusual organ while fangs descend from her mouth. Claws, a tail, and eventually wings appear as she carries off the cameraman to become her love slave and eventual dinner. It was a pleasant surprise to see the tables turn on our would-be aggressors as the diminutive prey they’d intended to victimize instead victimized them in grotesque and, if you pay close attention, poetic ways. That brings us up to 2016’s SiREN which, mercifully, was not a found footage piece. Hannah Fierman returns as the alluring and dangerous creature Lily who has been enslaved by a mysterious memory thief named Mr. Nyx played by Justin Wellborn. Nyx is the proprietor of 50 North / 40 West, a “gentleman’s club” run out of an antebellum mansion deep in the backwoods of a small Georgia town where he can provide a unique experience for his patrons if they’re willing to pay the price. When Jonah, Mac, Rand and Elliott go out for a stag party at a dumpy, dismal strip joint in town, a mysterious man offers to take them to Nyx’s club where they will experience things beyond their wildest dreams. Promising Jonah a bachelor party he’ll never forget, they all agree and follow the stranger deep into the foreboding woods outside of town. For the price of the group’s favorite childhood memories of their mothers, the groom to be is given a one on one session with Lily. Jonah sits down in a room with a window looking in on the gorgeous young siren. What looks like a slightly dull peep show soon becomes the most intense experience of his life as her strange, mesmerizing song hypnotizes him. In moments, he’s lost within his own mind reliving every orgasm he’s ever experienced with every partner he’s ever known ending with his fiancé becoming the strange and captivating young woman behind the glass. Staggering out of the room in his post faux-coital stupor, Jonah comes across the padlocked door leading to Lily’s room with the girl begging for him not to leave. So, what do you do when a gorgeous girl has literally mind fucked you into a staggering puddle of bliss a week before your wedding? You break the lock and help her escape, realizing only after you’ve made your “heroic” decision that there might have been a reason that she was locked up in the first place. Almost immediately he regrets his decision as Lily grows a tail, claws, and a strange aperture in the center of her skull and slaughters a guard and several other people on her way out of the house. Jonah regroups with his bachelor party and attempts to escape only to be airlifted away from yet another dangerous situation involving Nyx and his men courtesy of our lovelorn siren who has now developed a rather unhealthy attachment. I’ve seen a lot of strange sex scenes in horror and sci-fi movies over the years. I’m one of the few people who will actually admit to enjoying the movie Splice and the magic moment between Lily and Jonah is not only reminiscent of the questionable romance from that 2009 film but is really one of those “you have to see it for yourself” moments. The ending of the movie is a bit predictable and dry but overall concludes what is, surprisingly, a really entertaining monster movie. There are some cool things in SiREN that warrant a minute or two of consideration, not the least of which being our female lead Hannah Fierman. Fierman brings a timid, borderline naïve allure to Lily as she says “I like you” in her most mousy, innocent tone. She’s a sweet little girl that you can’t help but fall in love with almost immediately and sympathize for as she gets lured into these exploitative and cruel situations. This demure façade makes it all the more surprising and enjoyable when her face splits apart in the middle and she literally rips the testicles off of the drunken frat boy who was going to rape her or eats the face of the henchman intent on locking her away in a small room as a supernatural sex slave. The term monster can only be applied to her in the sense that she is a creature other than human capable of committing acts of gruesome violence against humans as she never willfully tries to harm anyone. Everything Lily does, in fact, is part of either a self-preservation instinct or an attempt to win the love of the man who freed her. The story also sets up a larger paranormal universe in Mr. Nyx and his club where the price of your unlimited pleasure is some intimate memory. The first time I saw Justin Wellborn on screen was the 2007 zombie comedy Dance of the Dead where he plays an ancillary character, a redneck bully turned hero in a localized zombie apocalypse. With a slight Southern drawl and ginger scruff, he has a distinct presence regardless the size of his role. In SiREN Nyx begins as a mysterious collector who takes Lily after she is summoned by a cult and slaughters them all. The club that he operates deals in unusual pleasures, presumably collecting and redistributing memories to patrons. The notion is explored briefly as Rand is beaten and tortured by Nyx’s goons who then take the memory and deliver it to Jonah who then gets to experience in seconds what took minutes or hours for his friend to endure. Other than being a neat expansion on the idea set up in the short film Amateur Night, SiREN doesn’t bring anything new or unique to the genre but it’s still an entertaining creature feature with some fun characters and concepts. See larger image SiREN One week before his big wedding day, Jonah and his groomsmen hit the town for a wild night of club hopping and debauchery. The night soon takes a twisted turn for the worse when the group is invited to the seedy underground club, 50 North 40 West, a home to the sexy side of the supernatural. After Jonah frees a seemingly imprisoned dancer, he soon realizes that the woman he has released is actually a terrifying creature of legend that will stop at nothing to claim her man. Jonah and his groomsmen soon find themselves in a deadly fight for their lives as they run from the fabled predator and the men who are determined to recapture her. New From: $9.40 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.