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After Dark Originals: Scream Of The Banshee [DVD]

3.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A college professor and her students discover an ornate box in the basement of their university. When they open the artifact, a bloodcurdling scream is unleashed. According to Irish lore, those who hear a banshee scream will die – which is what begins to happen as the creature comes for each of them.

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Consider this an argument against good housekeeping: while poking around in their college's cluttered basement, an anthropologist (Lauren Holly) and her students unearth an extremely cranky head in a box, which proceeds to wreak some serious mythological havoc. Blood, eye-related violence, and a rather gnarly bit of business involving a lip piercing follow. As with many of the films produced for the SyFy Channel, this brisk horror film's ambitions are curtailed by a severe budgetary stumbling block, most notably during some medieval flashback scenes that appear to be shot in someone's backyard with balsa wood swords. On the positive side, while many films in this vein go for winking self-parody, director Steven Miller here plays things admirably straight, generating a decent sense of atmosphere and a few genuine scares. (The genial commentary track by Miller and composer Ryan Dodson detailing the numerous production problems makes what does show up on the screen seem fairly heroic.) While not exactly a case of a diamond in the rough, Scream of the Banshee stands as a promising genre effort, boosted by some nicely blecchy effects (the previously mentioned severed head is a nasty piece of work, especially when it starts hollering), and a too-brief appearance by horror legend Lance Henriksen, who appears to be enjoying himself mightily as a Southern-accented monster specialist. --Andrew Wright

Special Features

• Audio Commentary with Director Steven C. Miller and composer Ryan Dodson

Product Details

  • Actors: Lauren Holly, Lance Henriksen, Eric F. Adams, Marcelle Baer, Edrick Browne
  • Directors: Steven C. Miller
  • Writers: Anthony C. Ferrante, Jacob Hair
  • Producers: Anthony C. Ferrante, Bobby Ranghelov, Courtney Solomon, Gregory M. Walker, James Portolese
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004Z2PLZS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,252 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "After Dark Originals: Scream Of The Banshee [DVD]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on May 9, 2011
Format: DVD
I won't contend that "Scream of the Banshee" is a terrible movie, only that in the horror realm--it lacks anything to really distinguish it from dozens of other films in an overcrowded genre. Taking on a bit of Irish lore and unleashing the myth of the banshee upon a modern world seems like a solid enough concept. But aside from that scream, the banshee might as well have been a ghost or demon or nightmare boogeyman for it has no real consistent mode of terror. Sometimes it works in your mind driving you to insanity, sometimes it attacks you like a haggard Freddy Kreuger making your dreams a dangerous place, sometimes it is entirely corporeal wreaking havoc in a physical manifestation. The whole thing just seems ill conceived and only moderately thought out. The logic derives from the fact that if you hear the scream, it will kill you--after that, the movie makers tend to adopt an anything goes mentality. That might be forgiven if, again, the kills had a creativity or innovation that seemed fresh. But you've seen this movie before in various forms with various beasts, and there's just not much new here.

Headed by Lauren Holly, a team of academics uncover a mysterious box in the school's archives. It has been brought to their attention by a former scholar who seems to have bought a one way ticket to crazy-ville (an underutilized Lance Henrickson). The banshee reveal is the film's biggest moment and its first cry after being released has a pleasingly eerie effectiveness. However, from here on out--the picture plays out precisely as you would expect. Anyone exposed to the initial scream or a recording of it are dispatched in an entirely random order in entirely random methods. Is it real, is it a hallucination, is it both concurrently? In truth, it really doesn't matter.
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This is another one of those movies that I think was made originally for the Sci Fi channel a while ago. Having said that it is one of their better efforts with a good story and good cast. There are a couple of well known names in it but other than that it's mostly little known actors who still do a good job with their characters. From the title it's easy to deduce that the movie is about a banshee and so tends to get a little messy with gore. Not a kids movie for sure but if you are a horror movie fan it's worth a look so check it out.
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By the production title, the story itself is not based on a book nor a remake of anything else. That doesn't mean it can't be based (no matter how loosely) on some kind of familiar mythology. In this case, the modern thought of banshees, screaming old hags that aren't exactly human.
It starts with a prologue back in Limerick City, Ireland, not long before the 13th century (not the catchiest way of trying to do something differently than most horror movies trying to take place in the 13th), three knights sent off to catch a banshee, and the device used almost looks like a strange shield, but turns out to be a different kind of device than I'm used to seeing. Then, in modern times, a research group for a university ends up finding out a secret within their walls and discovers a box to go along with a mysterious gauntlet (that the nerd in the group loves playing with- who wouldn't ;). Opening the box releases an evil that can infect (okay, that's definitely not original and one reason I didn't get this movie for quite a long while, the typical-sounding cliche) and cause hallucinations. Unfortunately, the effects team tried too hard to make effective scares, causing the effects to be laughable unless you get scared by crappy costumes. Albeit, there were a couple emotional scenes that weren't perfect, but fit better in this story than much of the horror. And yet, there were a couple horror scenes that were actually decent. One involving many gallons of lood being poured onto the head researcher's daughter during a hallucination, and it got me wondering if she were going to die. Not saying if she did. And another woman's horrific scene, she didn't get to learn the secret of the banshee's scream, so she did die, quite horrifically, if you ask me.
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I won't contend that "Scream of the Banshee" is a terrible movie, only that in the horror realm--it lacks anything to really distinguish it from dozens of other films in an overcrowded genre. Taking on a bit of Irish lore and unleashing the myth of the banshee upon a modern world seems like a solid enough concept. But aside from that scream, the banshee might as well have been a ghost or demon or nightmare boogeyman for it has no real consistent mode of terror. Sometimes it works in your mind driving you to insanity, sometimes it attacks you like a haggard Freddy Kreuger making your dreams a dangerous place, sometimes it is entirely corporeal wreaking havoc in a physical manifestation. The whole thing just seems ill conceived and only moderately thought out. The logic derives from the fact that if you hear the scream, it will kill you--after that, the movie makers tend to adopt an anything goes mentality. That might be forgiven if, again, the kills had a creativity or innovation that seemed fresh. But you've seen this movie before in various forms with various beasts, and there's just not much new here.

Headed by Lauren Holly, a team of academics uncover a mysterious box in the school's archives. It has been brought to their attention by a former scholar who seems to have bought a one way ticket to crazy-ville (an underutilized Lance Henrickson). The banshee reveal is the film's biggest moment and its first cry after being released has a pleasingly eerie effectiveness. However, from here on out--the picture plays out precisely as you would expect. Anyone exposed to the initial scream or a recording of it are dispatched in an entirely random order in entirely random methods. Is it real, is it a hallucination, is it both concurrently? In truth, it really doesn't matter.
Read more ›
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