The title monster of Irish myth terrorizes people in the middle of the US for no good reason and with no explanation as to why its there, how it came to be or anything else aside from visually demonstrating that it uses sound to make its victims hallucinate. A group of teens on spring break encounter it and every single one of them survives after befriending the misunderstood beast. Of course that’s a lie…they die…but doesn’t the nice plot sound so much more interesting? It does to me when you’ve seen countless films about teenagers being ripped apart in the woods.
The opening credits look promising as the fast editing keeps you interested as we watch victims from the 70s go down. Sadly, the second the film enters “Present Day” the film nosedives into a horrendous story packed with dialogue that will make you wince, frightfully unconvincing performances, editing that demonstrates how little understanding the filmmakers have for pacing (jumping between the teens story and a cops, both with conflicting tones), and all the other negative points one finds on the checklist of bad, made-for-TV horror films.
Despite seeing their best friend get a stick impaled through his face, the teens barely let out a yelp as they scurry away…all the while taking time to crack jokes and one of them actually holds onto his beer the entire chase, taking a sip while he’s supposed to be in a panic. I was baffled and almost amused by the lack of acting these people were doing. A monster that they see, plain as day, tears apart half their group and all we see is them putting a jog into their step while breaking frequently to bicker at each other in the darkness. Not that I’m really pining for another group of teens in hysterics, after all there are countless clones of Texas Chainsaw Massacre for that, but if this film insists on going for the overused teen massacre plot, then they could have tried to look like its never happened before and the uncanny things they’re witnessing should have at least surprised them some more.
By the time they reach an old house and they’re trapped inside the film realizes that it does not have enough story to fill an hour and a half so we’re offerend a the (non)story of another young couple who did not find the rest of the group and instead ensure their deaths by having sex, so adding nothing to the plot except more bodies, as well as the journey of a curious cop who spends half the film in a bar chatting (seriously…nothing happens in these scenes…its boggling) then encounters the Banshee’s baby (or something…establishing the monster as a flesh and blood creature and not something mystical) which, again, adds nothing except time filler. Let’s see, there’s a non-sequitur kill scene where the banshee appears as a girl scout (an excuse to have her smile while destroying a character who has nothing to do with the story), several bad attempts at humour such as a flash-back joke where our female lead drives through her own garage door…you see how this list can just go on? The makers of this film really have little to no idea how to cobble a proper narrative together.
I mentinoed the monster appearing as a girl scout, seems the banshee creature can mimic the appearance of other people, an ability it uses sparingly, which makes it act like the T-1000 from Terminator 2, right down to its sudden invulnerability to bullets, which comes and goes when it’s convenient. It uses booming sounds to explode heads and yet is highly sensitive to loud sounds…figure that one out. When our heroes learn this they decide to rock out at the climax in an attempt to escape which, if this were a campier film, would have been an awesome solution, but this is just a lame horror movie so its just an embarrassing scene that takes that magical trip to nowhere that is all too familiar in this film.
I could go on and on but I don’t want to risk giving the impression that this film is “so bad its hilarious” because its not…its just low-budget and pathetic. I’ll give it this, the hologram affect of the Banshee’s hallucination creations looks neat, as it fizzles like a distorted computer image…like its more robot than monster, and could have been a great device had the film been better (the very ending demonstrates this).
Widescreen 1.78:1. The film is badly lit throughout. There is little consistency in said lighting but the scenes in daylight are clear and clean enough looking. It just makes the film look as cheap as it really is.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround an Stereo area available. I’m glad they offer Surround since this film is about a monster whose whole legend and notoriety is sound, but they played very little with how things are distributed in the speakers. Instead of having certain sounds be isolated to one area, each speaker is simply playing the exact same thing. There is no sense of immersion as we are just offered more speakers so it might as well be in Stereo.
Subtitles available in English and Spanish.
Commentary: The director, producer, writer & sound guy sit in a booth and jokes around with little factoids about the making of the film. This might be the most endearing part of the whole DVD because these are clearly just guys who are getting by with what little they have and learning as they go and help each other through these low budget travesties they make. You get an E for effort lads but they have a LONG way to go before they deserve acclaim.
Trailers: For this film and the maker’s next one (this time about Sasquatch).
Bloopers & Outtakes: Mostly the actors forgetting the lines. Not that fun as it just further demonstrates how amateur and low budget this production really was.
Deleted Scenes: They would have added nothing but frustration.
The three exclamation points in the title are the cleverest thing about this film. Look at the cover, chuckle, then drop it and never look back. It tries to be different (which is encouraging), but is too inept to pull it off.