Boat movies fall in to two main categories it seems. Big boat movies and small boat movies.
Big boat movies involve big issues, big action and big budgets. You only need to look at films like Titanic, The Poseidon Adventure and any war movies involving massive sea battles or historical stories set on seafaring ships. And you’ll see a tidal wave of money spent on epic tales from the across the oceans.
Then there are small boat movies.
Small boat movies are on a much smaller scale with smaller stories, smaller ideas and for some strange reason whatever genre the stories follow they always seem to involve sex.
From the dinghy crash Madonna vehicle Swept Away to the Kelly Brook bonk fest Three starring a bonkers Billy Zane to the intense claustrophobic Dead Calm – also staring a bonkers Billy Zane, to the Brit shock pic Donkey Punch. It seems small boats, especially yachts, are sexy. It also appears from the films on this list that small boat movies are generally a load of crap.
And now to add to the collection comes independent British thriller Siren, a modern take on an ancient myth which follows all the rules of a small boat film including the sea, the sex and sadly the rubbish story and script.
Ken (Eoin Macken) and his girlfriend Rachel (Anna Skellern The Descent Part 2) set off on a yachting holiday in the hopes it seems of spicing up their sex life. Inviting along Rachel’s college friend Marco (Anthony Jabre) the trio have their plans for a relaxing break ruined when they come across a bemused castaway brandishing a knife and bleeding from his ears, who dies once aboard their boat.
Confused and concerned they bury his body on the island they rescued him from only to find it holds another inhabitant, the mysterious Silka (Tereza Srbova). As everyone becomes enthralled by Silka’s otherworldly charms, the friends find that reality is being replaced by a frightening fiction which is taking them on a path to death and destruction that they cannot seem to avoid.
Directed by the sadly departed Andrew Hull, a former Art Director, Siren is sadly not the debut swan song he may have hoped for, failing to inspire anything but ennui in its audience with an uninteresting story, uninspired script and unconvincing acting.
The plot is pointless and predictable from the start thanks to the idiocy of naming the film ‘Siren’ and then having a man with blood coming from his ears, followed by the appearance of an enchanting female character.
To expect no-one to work out what will follow is offensive to the audience’s intelligence, and rather than embracing its inevitability the film attempts to throw in twists and turns and hammy hallucinations which go nowhere and fail to create any tension.
The look of the film is slick and stylised but more like an advert for a package holiday from hell. And as the characters trek back and forth between the limited locations of the boat, the beach and the barren forest even they seem sick of the monotony of the movie.
Okay so some horrors on small boats do work well such as the aforementioned Dead Calm, the realistic slow terror of Open Water and the brilliant twisting fear of Triangle (which has a small boat and a big boat in it!). But all of these deliver something different to the horror and small boat genre which is why they work.
Siren’s worst crime is it’s failure to deliver anything of merit at all, no real original story, no real erotic sex and no scares what so ever just a boring film on a small boat which makes you wish you where lost at sea rather than sitting watching this wash out.