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"Hollywood wouldn't just borrow an idea; they're more arrogant than that. They'd simply buy it."  -American film director Beeban Kidron
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Sunday July 12, 2020 

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A dark sky hangs over Sydney, clouds looming with the threat of rain. On the pier, a dozen strangers stand around, waiting for a mystery ride across the water. Then the party boards the water-craft, headed for an island - somewhere. As we approach our destination the earlier promise of rain is fulfilled, with a light drizzle falling, creating an eerie atmosphere – hauntingly appropriate, as we disembark on Cockatoo Island. Its history as a convict prison, and later, a shipyard, showing clearly this night. The darkness swallows all but the sounds of our footsteps us as we venture through a pitch-black tunnel and beyond, into a disused hanger to preview Sony's new Playstation 2 horror game, Forbidden Siren 2, which has now spawned a movie of the same name, plus an upcoming Hollywood franchise via Ghost House. SEBASTIAN URBAN reports.

Following the success of Forbidden Siren, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia has announced the upcoming local release of Forbidden Siren 2. The game was launched in the Asian market in February 2006, simultaneously with the release of the film of the same name, directed by leading Asian Horror producer Yukihiko Tsutsumi.

The film sees the migration of the hugely popular Forbidden Siren franchise from console to movie screen. Rights to the franchise have also been sold to Ghost House Pictures, who are highly respected for their work in this genre; Sam Raimi of Ghost House, whose credits include The Evil Dead, The Grudge and Spider-Man commented: “Toyama has created an intensely unsettling and haunted world with original images and characters that we hope to bring to life on the big screen.” News of the pending Hollywood production is giving the franchise a further boost. Shooting is expected to start in 2006.

"long awaited sequel"

The long awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed Forbidden Siren game delivers much more morbid action in the same vein as the original. The game offers a range of control options, including an enhanced version of the trademarked ‘Sight-Jacking’ mode; a technique by which players can dictate the action from the perspective of nearby characters. A wider range of weapons is available to our heroes than in the original; the simple flashlight; the unconventional (and unusual) shoe-horn; and then the more traditional shotguns and pistols that are the stock-in-trade of un-dead hunters everywhere. We also see the introduction of vehicles to the game, which can be used either as a means of transportation or as a weapon. (Or for something different, try ‘Sight-Jacking’ whilst driving for a perfect reverse-park).

Fans of the original game and those who enjoy scaring themselves silly will not be disappointed. The developers have managed to enhance the ominous and creepy fabric they so skilfully weaved for the first game. The distinctions between game and film continue to blur, with real actors being used to help create player models, leading to some very convincing plot-sequences. The game is story driven, and contains enough puzzles, zombies and other nasty surprises to keep players entertained for hours. As much as you may deny it to your friends, you will probably find yourself turning the lights back on at least once.

Published June 8, 2006

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Forbidden Siren 2

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