Directed by: Steven C. Miller
Starring: Lauren Holly, Marcelle Baer, Todd Haberkorn

After watching Sharktopus I told myself that I'd stay away from these Syfy original movies, but I realized I can't judge them all on the one horrible film I did manage to see. There were a few reasons which compelled me to watch SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE. First of all I'd seen the poster, which I think actually looks really well done and hints at the possibility of some gratuitous nudity in the film. Then I watched the trailer which wasn't amazing, but at least it made the movie look a hell of a lot better than Sharktopus. I also read somewhere that this was Syfy's 200th original movie, so I was hoping that they'd gone to the trouble of making it something special. And finally, I had to watch the film because Lance Henriksen is in it.
Unfortunately all of these things that led me to watch the movie ended up being not quite lies, but very misleading. There was absolutely no nudity at all, not even in the single sex scene. The movie was nothing like the trailer made it seem, and Lance Henriksen is only introduced about 10 minutes before the movie ends. But I guess these are just a few of the ways they like to rope in suckers like me.

SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE starts in 12th Century Ireland with a small group of knights on horseback chasing what looks like a beautiful young girl in a red cape. After skewering her with a specially made forked weapon, it becomes apparent that this isn't any ordinary girl. The knights fight the beast until one of them throws his perculiar cross-shaped shield at it. The shield transforms in midair, folding into a steel box which lands on the beast's head and cuts it off, sealing it inside the box.
900 years later we meet Professor Isla Whelan (Holly) and her students who are archiving an assortment of ancient artifacts in the basement of a university. A box with no return address arrives and is found to contain a 12th Century Irish steel gauntlet and a map. The map just so happens to be of the very same university in which the professor and students are working. The map leads them to a hidden room, inside which they find a mysterious wooden crate marked with the word 'DUNCAN'.
They haul out the crate and open it up. What they find inside is a strange steel box (think Lemarchand's box from Hellraiser but bigger) which appears to be sealed. A strange vibrating and breathing sound is heard from within the box. Professor Whelan works out that the Irish gauntlet is actually the key to opening the box, and so she opens it. Everybody screams when the contents of the box turn out to be the disembodied head of some strange beast. Obviously it seems to be dead, but eventually it opens it's eyes and then it's mouth and lets out a scream before seeming to evaporate without a trace.
For the rest of the film the professor and students find themselves haunted by the banshee creature, who systematically begins to kill them one at a time, while they search for a way to defeat it.
There's also some kind of weak romantic subplot in there which really doesn't need to be there.

Funnily enough, the best part of the movie was the opening scene with the knights in Ireland. It actually looked like it was going to be a great film. But unfortunately the combination of bad acting, bad writing and terrible effects made this movie a chore to watch. I actually found myself about half an hour into the movie, distractedly flipping through a Metal Hammer magazine because it was so bad. I actually could have forgiven the acting and effects if there was enough gore or at least one frightening moment, but the only blood you real see is either trickling from people's ears or splattered upon the wall. And for some reason nobody seems to care at all that their ears are bleeding. Do they go the hospital? No of course not, they just clean the blood off and continue with what they were doing. And all of the 'scary moments' are predictable and not scary at all. Another thing I'd like to add is that while I was watching this movie at home by myself, my fiance arrived home and looked the the television and actually asked me "Are you watching a soap opera?" because the one scene where Professor Whelan and her daughter are having some sort of deep conversation seems like a scene from the Bold and the Beautiful.
The only reason I'd ever watch SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE again is if the only other alternative were Sharktopus.

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