Banshee!!! (2009)

Banshee!!!Reviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Ashley Bates, David McCarthy, Kevin Shea, Kerry McCann, Iris McQuillan, Troy Walcott

Directed by Colin Theys

Let’s be honest for a sec. If your idea of fun is to spend your college spring break in the woods of Connecticut, then getting killed by a monster cannot be that big a deal since you clearly have no life to begin with.

Banshee!!! is the latest creature feature from Synthetic Cinema International, a young production company that I’m still holding out hope for. They still haven’t quite got all the pieces of the puzzle together, and judging by Banshee!!! a few pieces of the puzzle may have been missing altogether. Is this an incomplete movie patched together or does it just feel like there are scenes missing? Banshee!!! often feels so random I honestly cannot tell one way or the other. The mentality appears to have been to simply keep the pace moving as briskly as possible in hopes that viewers won’t mind just how little thought went into the rhyme and reason of it all.

The creature stalking the woods is a banshee. We only know it is a banshee because an old drunken Irish pool player at the local pub keeps screeching about how he keeps hearing a banshee screaming in the woods. Why the cocoon from which this creature springs forth was in the trunk of a sunken car is never explained. This banshee (or should I add three “!”s after its name like the title does for whatever reason) looked to me more like a Jersey devil or a mutant gargoyle than any banshee I have ever read about in folklore. Not really what I think of when I think of a banshee, but then it might not actually be a banshee since, again, we never get any actual explanation as to what it is or where it came from.

Clearly an intelligent creature – a trickster, yet it only seems to exist in order to mindlessly kill as many people as possible and possibly eat a few of them when hungry. It has the supernatural ability to take on the facade of people, an illusion it only uses to get the drop on others moments before it reveals its true self. It also has the power to make people see things that are not real, a power that goes woefully underutilized given the handiness of such a power. What could have been an intriguing movie monster goes to waste because no interest has been put into exploring its mythos or nature.

I have a really hard time believing that a monster whose main weapon is a sonic scream so loud it can make heads explode can itself be thwarted by loud noises. That makes about as much sense as making a movie about a fire-breathing monster that’s afraid of fire. At least this Achilles heel leads to the best scene of the movie when the musician in the group fights back by rocking out on his guitar, the strumming blaring from the speakers neutralizing the creature temporarily while he comically dances around as if he were on stage performing.

College students in the woods get attacked by a banshee. They take refuge in a secluded cabin home to a guy who himself has been trapped for the past couple days and is trying to fix the radio in order to call for help. A female cop roams the darkened woods with a flashlight. A random couple camping in the woods take timeout for some nookie. I couldn’t tell you the name of a single character or give you a single reason to care.

I once again go back to that weird sensation that either the movie wasn’t finished or connective tissue of the script never got filmed or never existed in the first place. The female cop will get attacked by a baby banshee in a farmhouse. There had been no prior inclination that the banshee was even reproducing and once she dispatches with this smaller creature it will never be brought up again. Just another completely random scene.

Another instance. The creature gets inside the house and takes the form of one of the coeds in order to seduce and kill one of the boys. They manage to chase it off afterwards. We then cut to a couple camping in the woods preparing to have sex. Then we cut to the female cop investigating the woods with her flashlight. Then its back to the couple post-coitus so that the banshee can kill them. Like so much of Banshee!!!, scenes just jump around at random.

The very climax is edited in such a spotty and rushed manner lacking connecting points that I honestly have no clue if the idea was to be stylish or they just patched key intervals together into a series of brief fades because the rest never got filmed. Awkward to say the least.

Even a creature feature that is nothing but a series of random monster attacks can be entertaining up to a certain point, but Banshee!!! is a monster movie that has no point.

1 1/2 out of 5

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