Currently getting great reviews on the festival circuit with the feature version of his short Slapface, Jeremiah Kipp (Black Wake, Theresa & Allison) has just finished a new short, Siren. And like Slapface it’s a look at a dysfunctional family set in the guise of a horror film.
Kelli’s (Erica Logsdon) father has just committed suicide. More specifically he shot himself while on the phone with her, his last words were a warning not to come to his house. Of course, that’s just what she, along with her boyfriend Mark (Joseph Sanchez) and brother Jimmy (Dillon Lau) do. To their surprise, there’s a woman named Lucinda (Silvia Dionicio, Discarded Things) living there.
The script by Joseph Fiorillo doesn’t give a lot of backstory, but it does give enough clues that you can make a fairly good guess at some answers. We don’t know why Kelli hasn’t seen her father in years, but the mention of her mother’s death and the number of empty liquor bottles in the house provide a hint. The fact she tells Mark they can’t share a room in the house speaks to a complicated relationship with her father, and possibly issues between her and Mark.
Similarly, Siren’s title may tell us what Lucinda is, but we’re not told how she got there, although I wouldn’t surprised if a bar was involved, or why she chose Kelli’s father. What matters is that she is there, and has no intentions of leaving.
Kipp reteams with cinematographer Christopher Bye (The Assault, 21st Century Demon Hunter) for the fifth time and the camerawork really helps sell the story. It also delivers what is as close to a conventional jump scare as Siren gets, the image captured on the film’s poster.
Creepy, and suspenseful, right down to the ambiguous final image, Siren leaves just enough unsaid to make the viewer want to know more. Perhaps if it gets a strong enough reception it, like Slapface, will eventually get expanded into a feature. You can find out more about Siren, and check out its trailer here.