New Horror Releases: SiREN (2016) – Reviewed

After the success of the anthology horror film V/H/S and the popularity of the segment “Amateur Night,” it was only a matter of time that it would become a feature length motion picture. The major issue with these successful shorts being turned into features is that they often end up being huge disappointments, take in point the recent release of Lights Out. This production doesn’t suffer from that problem and it can best be described as The Hangover meets Demon Knight or From Dusk til Dawn, while deftly blending humor, violence, and several interesting characters to create a highly entertaining ride. The story involves four guys on a bachelor party who end up at a weird and perverse secret party mansion, which contains a female predator with violent tendencies.
If you have seen the short segment then you should have a pretty decent idea about the plot and the major female character that is featured. The issue with extending any short is coming up with something to fill the extra hour or more of time that wasn’t in the original source material. The writers did a fine job of introducing new characters and crafting a story that is filled with amusing situations and dialogue, while also making sure that it still contains what is typically expected in a horror film. The pacing is fast and never really slows down, doing just enough to introduce the characters and their situations. Most of them are fairly one dimensional and there isn’t much development or growth, but this is a monster movie and the audience only cares about the monsters.  
The major character focus is on Mr. Nyx (Justin Welborn), the groom Jonah (Chase Williamson), and Lily the female monster (Hannah Fierman). The rest of the major actors are all commendable in their roles and are surprisingly first-rate for a horror picture. Welborn is absolutely brilliant in his portrayal of Mr. Nyx, a P.T. Barnumesque leader of the weird and occult. He ends up being the true star in this, creating a fascinating character with some great moments and pieces of dialogue. Nyx is someone that you simply want to see more of and I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns in a prequel of some sorts. Williamson is superb, giving an impressive and emotional performance as the main protagonist. Fierman is obviously the star as the monster and she does deliver, she’s sexy, deadly, has at least one good line, and shows the right emotions when needed.

The direction from Gregg Bishop and cinematography from George Feucht combine for an extremely atmospheric and nice looking picture. The camera choices and placement are all successful, with some bold techniques incorporated for effect and specific scenarios. The extravagant locations and gothic mansion setting aid in creating extra atmosphere, along with the use of fog, candles, and shadows. The score is mostly a nice mixture of strings and piano and is only used when absolutely necessary, allowing for the use of natural sound effects to build tension. The special effects are terrific and it is hard to tell what are practical effects and what is CGI.
You know I'm still sexy like this

There is more than enough violence, gore, and nudity peppered in this to satiate and satisfy most horror fans. With a brisk running time of 82 minutes, you won’t feel like you wasted your time watching this fun blend of bloody goodness.

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