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July 2011

Siren

cast: Eoin Macken, Tereza Srbova, Anna Skellern, and Anthony Jabre

director: Andrew Hull

86 minutes (15) 2010
widescreen ratio 16:9
Matchbox DVD Region 2

RATING: 4/10
review by Ian Hunter

Siren

Okay, if you know your mythology then you will know what a 'siren' is, although the DVD cover is more than a little misleading, as is the beginning of the film, where a woman in a red dress stands in the middle of nowhere. This is Rachel (played by Anna Skellern, who played 'Kelly' in the BBC's Outnumbered, and also starred in The Descent - part 2). Could she be the siren of the title?

Possibly, as she soon picks up passing Ken (Eoin Macken, probably best known for playing Gwaine in BBC's Merlin), and after a few words and some smouldering looks they head to a deserted building for some sex, with me thinking poor Ken, he's first for the chop, knife in the back, whatever. But it turns out they are a couple acting out a sexual fantasy on the way to a boating trip with Marco (Anthony Jerbe) who has the hots for Rachel. Oh, no, tense love-triangle threesome on a boat in the middle of nowhere. Haven't these people seen movies like Dead Calm and Donkey Punch? No sooner are Rachel and Ken at it in the galley than a disgruntled Marco sees a flash of light coming from a distant island and, heading there, finds a man bleeding from his ears, acting more than a bit weird, and waving a knife about a bit, before he promptly dies as soon as they get him on the boat.

How inconsiderate of him, and this puts them in a bit of a pickle. What should they do? Take him back and report everything to the authorities? Throw him overboard for the fishes? That gets my vote. But no, they decide to bury him back on the island and while they are doing this they discover they are being watched by the mysterious Silka (which sounds a bit like 'silkie' - if you know your folklore, and she's played by Tereza Srbova who was in Inkheart, St Trinian's remake, and Eastern Promises). Hmm, now could she be the siren of the title? No starter for ten here, just don't let her do any singing. Doh, too late...

What we then get is a battle to survive and get off the island. To be honest, I sort of liked this film. It isn't great, but it had some potential. The acting is passable, the characters are fairly one-dimensional, and very un-likeable, but this is an interesting - if unoriginal - premise that more could have been made of. The island setting is stunning, and given that it is an island, and of limited scale, it does come across as being slightly claustrophobic in the latter stages of the film. All in all Siren could have been a lot worse, but it could have been a lot better and, sadly, as the only film directed by the late Andrew Hull, we'll never known if he would have gone on to bigger and better things.



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