Film

This Horror Film About a Siren In a Strip Club Is Perversely Entertaining

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A lot can go wrong in a movie centered on a supernatural strip club. So why is Siren so damn entertaining?

Perhaps it’s because director Gregg Bishop and screenwriters Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski have taken the central kernel of David Bruckner’s “Amateur Night” segment from 2012’s V/H/S horror anthology — an encounter with a mythological siren named Lily (played by Hannah Fierman, wide-eyed and feral, in both films) — and replaced the date-rapist bros of the short with guys who, led by bachelor Jonah (Chase Williamson), think that by freeing Lily from the club they’re helping to break up a sex-trafficking ring.

The heroic impulses encourage viewers to buy into the story instead of merely gawking. The villains are likewise compelling — Justin Welborn lends club owner Mr. Nyx a sinister congeniality, while Brittany S. Hall’s bartender is a no-nonsense enigma in a Day-Glo wig and short shorts, dispensing nightmarish cocktails that transmit stolen memories. (The film teases out clever ramifications from that heady brew.)

Bishop isn’t afraid to leave the club behind, confidently expanding beyond the seedy premise to become a three-way chase among the bachelor party guys, the club management, and a ferocious supernatural force.

Siren

Directed by Gregg Bishop

Chiller Films

Opens December 2, Cinema Village