Sunday, 11 March 2012



Hopes weren't astronomically high for this low-budget monster horror: it's from the After Dark stable, whose track record has frankly been iffy at best. Husk, Prowl, 51, Seconds Apart, Fertile Ground.... none of them surprising, startling or more than functional. They do the job, they pass 90 minutes relatively painlessly but that's about all. And the Syfy logo doesn't inspire much confidence either. Then, when you're less than thirty seconds into the movie and they've spelled Lance Henriksen's name wrong, you start to wonder where the quality control guy's wandered off to. He's the biggest name on the movie and you can't even IMDb him to check whether it's Henriksen or Henrikson? Unless you've got the brains of a clump of bindweed, you should know this anyway. And don't tell me it's a typo, because the E and the O are some way apart on the keyboard. What are you going to do when you're working for Alejandro Jodorowsky or Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck?

Basic ignorance of how to correctly spell cast members' names aside, Scream Of The Banshee is another entirely perfunctory, unremarkable bit of horror nonsense in which some idiots, tasked with archiving the contents of a college basement, chance upon a mysterious box from 12th century Ireland: they open it and are promptly terrorised by - guess what? - a banshee. Their only hope looks to be former professor Lance Henriksen, now retired to a country mansion filled with bits of shop window dummies, and uploading blogs full of incoherent apocalyptic rantings onto his website....

There's really very little in this movie to trouble horror fans or gorehounds. The banshee hag itself is revoltingly ugly, and thrown towards the camera every so often to make you jump (or at least wake up), and there's some sloshing of blood about the place, mainly over professor Lauren Holly's cute but troubled and wayward daughter. And it's always good to see Lance Henriksen, even briefly and even in absolute twaddle. But that's really all it's got going for it. The plot doesn't make any sense - if they knew this thing was so dangerous, why didn't they dispose of it in a more permanent way like sealing it in concrete and chucking it into the middle of the sea, rather than just hiding it behind a flimsy false wall and writing Henriksen's name on it, then sending directions to where it can be found along with the key that will open it? Nor does it help to have half the banshee's attacks happening as some kind of hallucinations or dreams. Isolated moments aside, this really isn't worth the effort.



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