Forbidden Siren the Movie 
                    Submitted by- Randi Drew

     This movie was interesting, to start off with. For those of you a little new to Japanese Horror, Forbidden Siren's origins are with the Forbidden Siren game. Made around the time as the Silent Hill movie, Siren boasts a lot of the game's flair for the spooky. Does it deliver..??? Eh, well, sort of. One thing to remember and let's be fair about this, is that these movies (comic book/video game/book adaptions), are not going to really reproduce the same results as the original, part of this is due to time constraints and then also to the direction of the film itself. Some directors want to put a fresh face on an old franchise, others try to correct plot holes by plugging them with yet more plot holes! You get the idea. But I will say that, in spite of various plot spillage, it was an interesting take on the Siren series!

    Much like Silent Hill and Resident Evil's movies, Siren has some of the movie's natural plot, but with a twist, mainly for those who haven't seen the game, or for fans of the game that are maybe a little bored with the original story. This kind of bugs me, and I am sure a few others that want the true story transplanted to the big screen,it bugs them too. What can I say we are purists. It's not bad, but it can have the potential to be a train wreck of failed actor status, and it leaves me unable to look away, or get up for popcorn. So, bracing myself for the idea of cinema abortion, I booted up my computer and streamed Forbidden Siren.

    The storyline is fairly simple: A father, daughter, and son move to an island to help the son get better from his illness. The islanders are overall Innsmouth creepy. In fact, these characters were VERY true to the game. They look like their video game counter parts for the most part. The island itself is also rather creepy, under it's very thin resort facade (which seems to be a running theme with horror over there), the island is home to a freaky forest, complete with giant creepy radio tower. This tower kind of looks like the weird religious symbol from the game, but only slightly. For the most part there are cloth strips hanging from it, it is in the middle of the spooky forest, and makes an ominous noise in the wind. Yuki, our heroine gets a visit from a villager who is about her age, who explains to Yuki that the forest is dangerous, but especially at night, and that the people on the island have a consensual curfew, where they especially don't wander out when the siren sounds at night. One thing that is also a running theme with horror over in Japan is the sound of the air raid siren. Silent Hill (the movie and the game) have this, and it curdles my blood to say the least. How this fits into the movie, I am not really that sure, I think a lot of it might be a audio transition into that void, or even a throwback to the air raid sirens of WW2. Maybe this is to establish some sort of audio/visual transition into a decent into madness. Again, not really sure. As with most of Japanese Horror, a lot is implied through sound or often color, like flashes of red. But, madness is given. Exploring the island, mostly in search of her mentally and physically unstable brother, Yuki finds that the islanders continue to get weirder and weirder. One villager, dressed all in red, and later revealed to be a vengeful spirit, is found reading to the little brother. At some point, Yuki's father, who fancies himself as a film buff, decides to go out and explore the forest and it's tower at night, which is a terrible idea, but no one really says anything or stops him. Which makes me wonder how much Yuki actually cares about her father... “Oh and Dad, watch out for homicidal villagers outside of the cursed tower/forest, they kinda roam the village at night.” I mean, something other than a mumbled variation of “be careful” would have been effective. Well, that being said, Dad doesn't come home the next day, and the villagers try to cover this up.

    (While I couldn't find any good shots of the movie zombies, THEY DO have bonnet zombie in the movie!! Actually, cop zombie, miner zombie, all the favorites, and some noob-shibitos are there!)
    While searching for her father, Yuki and the island's doctor, who happens to be a friend of the family, get separated. Yuki finds the villager's church, which is deserted and creepy. Yuki finds an alter inscribed with the villager's creepy songs and belief code. This is topped with a really scary, eyeless, abstract statue. The inscription talks about things being reversed in a mirror, “God becomes Dog” (LOL damn hippies), and “Live becomes evil”. This doesn't quite fit what is going on. I mean it sort of explains that the islanders are unnatural, in a very Call of Cthulhu kind of way, but off hand I would say that it doesn't really establish the link of them becoming Shibito, or what a Shibito is, the plot fills out a little later, however, but they still more or less assume that you know what a Shibito is. Which is a bitch if you a) don't know what they are, and b) are unfamiliar with Japanese folklore in general. People with the game kind of know what they are, but to a regular off the street person seeing this movie, they will likely have no idea what is going on.

  Yuki finds her father dead in the church's basement. This prompts her to run screaming to the nearest cop and her doctor friend. They come back and the body is gone. Both men exchange looks of concern over Yuki, who is really freaked out at this point. Side note, the cop looks very much like the Shibito cop in the game, I mean IDENTICAL. He is so creepy. Yuki, being very horrified that his body is missing, returns to the family's home, to find the father, sitting in his room, in the dark, with a tape recording of the villager's song on loop. This is probably the third or fourth indication that maybe they should be getting the fuck off of this island, freaky villagers and forest aside. It is time to fucking go.

 (Did a little research on Japanese Mermaid folklore. I am just going to point out, save your soul and the trip, if you are hungry, buy a pouch of fucking Jack Links...)

    What I like about Yuki, is that she seems to sense this too. After giving up trying to talk to her father, Yuki riffles through his things to find money and stumbles upon some weird files on his desktop. The files go into histories of disappearances, primarily the ones on Roanoke Island and the ocean liner, the Mary Celeste. Both of these are spelled in a completely unique Japanese fashion. * makes a face* In the very beginning of the movie, they mention these places, but again, I have no real idea of how this fit's with the game's story. The files elaborate on the island's history, mainly talking about how it was a plague island, with a 100% casualty rate. The islander's desperate to be cured and to live, decide to trap and kill a mermaid and eat it's flesh. Again, anyone to anyone unfamiliar with Japanese lore will be confused by this, but according to legend, mermaid flesh gives a person eternal life, granted you survive eating it, most people eating it, either die or become twisted by a horrible curse. So that being said, the prognosis looks pretty bad for the villagers. The thing is, while they say eternal life, they by no means say that this life is being healthy, or even natural, it sounds more like a twisted perversion of life, which makes me pause to think that Immortality isn't as stylish as it is cracked up to be! Look at Twilight, immortality made Edward an instant douche-bag, not to mention a creeper to say the least. *ducks flung hardbacks of Twilight *
(Derp derp derrrrrrrp!)

    Then *cue dramatic music * Yuki continues to scroll down and finds a picture of the mermaid/siren. It is a pic of a being in all red. It looks very creepy, oh and it was the woman that Yuki's brother was hanging out with. Only instead of being a pretty girl veiled in red, it looks very demonic in the pic. Obviously the lady in red is more or less the mermaid's spirit seeking revenge against the islanders. Who may or may not have received immortality, again, also implied (Yuki finds yet more evidence to suggest so).

   ( At some point, the killer ran out of milk cartons and scrap book material..and sanity.)
 Here is where everything goes to Hell... Yuki and Hideo (the little brother) are then attacked by the father, who has predictably become a Shibito, Yuki runs out to the tower to destroy the siren, which in her mind is the obvious reason for the villagers being in their state. Sounds good right? Yuki, a woman determined, puts lil' Hideo on her back and climbs the tower. She gets in a hissy fit kicking contest with a Shibito trying to pull her down by the leg, and manages to get to the top. She puts Hideo in a structurally safe spot, and goes to whacking at the speaker, which sort of comes apart. Meanwhile, her doctor friend has climbed up behind her and is begging her to come down. Yuki, is on a mission, and internally gives him the finger, then realizes that he is also a Shibito too, but that she just couldn't see it. He yells out to her that she is delusional and that her brother died years ago, which sets into motion a mind fuck of a flash back, involving us seeing things not from Yuki's perspective, but from the perspective of others. Hideo had died, and Yuki is highly delusional. At this point, fairly confused and discouraged, Yuki throws herself off of the tower, into the waiting arms of the flesh eating, Shibito villagers.

    Fast forward to later... Yuki wakes up in a hospital bed??? Okay, so this is what kind of pisses me off, don't tell me this is going to be like that who shot Jr. bullshit from Dallas, you know where Patrick Duffy wakes up and it is all a dream. Thankfully, for you and me, this isn't really like that. Sort of. Things pan to the doctor in his office making notes about the whole thing, saying that she survived the fall (which should have been fatal *groans* ), and that she is showing the same symptoms as a man that went on a massacre years ago. He goes on to say that “Thank goodness, we caught it before it was too late!” Yeah, okay and then you get stabbed. It isn't over until the credits run! Jerk! Yuki comes up behind the good doctor, and cuts his throat. I guess my final thought on this, is that if they had explained a little more and written this a script a tad better, it would have been really awesome. Instead it was a bit fun but also frustrating! I wish we could have known a little more about the figure in red, also, and this is probably a lot more important to the plot itself, why don't we get any tip offs, visual or otherwise that this chick is the crazy one? I mean, in the beginning, we see villagers looking at Yuki oddly, but we don't take any of this seriously because they look like the Japanese cousins of the people of Innsmouth. So, frankly their critical stares mean about as much religious solicitors on the doorstep of a deaf atheist. I think, like the game itself, there will be love hate for years. (I still scream about that kid hitting the cop and then getting out to see if he is okay. Wtf?!) 

(This is mah shank-face.)
 Tell me what you think of this movie!! You can check it out at- (they also have one on Veoh that you can watch, if you have the Veoh player!)