Siren Movie Review
Written by Greg Fisher
Released by Osiris Entertainment
Written and directed byJesse Peyronel
2013, 93 minutes, Not Rated
Vinessa Shaw as Leigh
Robert Kazinsky as Guy
Ross Partridge as Carl
Siren is a very simple story. A woman named Leigh has lived a life of seclusion in her gated home in the woods since the death of her parents years prior. This is self imposed, thanks to a potent pheromone she secretes that overpowers men's brains and makes them see her as their ideal woman, and they fall instantly in love. She monitors her gate and property with cameras, and the instances that she has interactions with others end poorly. Men that have run into her find their way to her, and try to force their ways into her home and life. Somehow, the police shake off the number of times they've had to escort ranting men from her gates, and they never seem to see that this is peculiar. To make money to live by, every month she sells a vial of her essence to a perfume company. Enter Guy, a John Rambo-type drifter who happens along to her gate, conveniently suffering from anosmia, which makes him immune to her. The rest becomes a thriller and love story wrapped together.
Despite any other listing in the IMDB page, this movie belongs to Vinessa Shaw and Robert Kazinsky. The two actors handle the spotlight admirably, although they are aided by the well-written dialogue from screenwriter/director Jesse Peyronel. Shaw brings a both strength and vulnerability to the role of Leigh, while Kazinsky takes what could be a one-note performance and injects nuance. While admittedly he doesn't show any large amount of versatility or range, somehow he still invites the viewer to invest in the character. Shaw shows a real depth in her portrayal in comparison. We feel the sadness and claustrophobia through her every small look and reaction. The actors play very well off of each other, and their scenes together, when they are able to simply be two normal people, are the lifeblood and heart of the movie.
As noted above, the script builds itself on a spine of an interesting story coupled with surprisingly strong dialogue. The conversations between characters take time to build realism between them and their relationships, and Peyronel is also able to keep what could be a heavy, dramatic script light through clever lampshading and unexpected humor. When first seeing the character of Guy rambling down the road, rucksack on his back, I immediately thought, "What is this, a Rambo knockoff?" It was off-putting, but not long into the movie Leigh asks him who in this day and age is a drifter, and they laugh it off. Yes, the flaw is still there, but is handled nicely.
The shady military angle that is played though the perfume company works least here. It never feels organic with the rest of the film, and the dialogue from those scenes is stilted, overdramatic, and poorly acted. I couldn't help but feel that it needed to have been handled much differently, or changed to something much more fitting with the overall feel. This part alone was what really held me off from fully enjoying the movie, and it's a shame that it was so obvious and easily fixed, yet was left to bring the film down.