Gregg Bishop adapts for the big screen one of arguably best segments from the “V/H/S” horror anthology entitled “Amateur Night.” The original segment was the most memorable of the bunch and was filled with tension, disturbing gore, and a very memorable final scene. Thankfully, “Siren” grabs on to most of the original short film’s aesthetic, including a lot of call backs to the original segment. Wisely, the director and studio re-cast Hannah Fierman who has a haunting beauty that most viewers really will have a hard time forgetting any time soon. What made “Amateur Night” so haunting was that Fierman could be oddly beautiful and shockingly horrifying at the drop of a dime. Here she invokes the same qualities, playing arguably the same character.
This time around, the character is given a name and a wider mythology as an ancient siren who was accidentally summoned by a cult. Lilith has the keen ability to latch on to her mates and never lets them go as she wields a slew of horrific body features beneath her seductive facade. Gregg Bishop takes David Bruckner’s original premise and pretty goes all out with an often surreal film that can border on bat shit insane from time to time. When the writers wade through all the crap about an underground bordello involving dark desires, and perversions, “Siren” manages to develop in to a strong survival horror film. Jonah and his pals are having one final night out as bachelors as Jonah is preparing to get married.
Looking for an extreme sexual thrill, they’re lured to a mansion in the middle of nowhere where customers are able to come and experience intense thrills involving the mind and body. When Jonah is captivated by an encounter with a beautiful young woman being kept in a cell who sings a haunting song, he becomes convinced she’s being victimized and decides to break her free. Little does he and his friends know that she’s not merely a woman, but a winged, man eating monster. The monster known as Lilith isn’t evil or good per se, so much as she’s simply a supernatural animal going by instinct and has no real grasp on what she’s doing to her victims.
One of the most interesting aspects added to “Siren,” is that folks who were wondering what happened to the poor bastard at the end of “Amateur Night,” get to see what she does to the men she snares and brings back to her nest. We get a full grasp and we see how she treats her prey in all its gory detail. Fierman is easily the highlight in what is a solid if flawed adaptation of a great horror short. With her humongous eyes, intense glares, and incredible body, Lilith is a remarkable modern horror villain I hope we can see more of. She evokes a lot of what made Natasha Henstridge so dangerously enticing in “Species,” and she knows how to act with mere facial expressions and body language. Some elements of the wider narrative behind “Siren” are hit or miss, Gregg Bishop’s adaptation is a solid mix of horror and fantasy with strong special effects, some original world building plot devices, and a great return performance by Hannah Fierman.