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Siren - Short Film Review


Written & Directed by: #CalumYoung

A mysterious team train arrives at a station, to the wonder of a drunk young man. Bold white text reads "Siren."
Poster for Siren

Graham has missed his last train home and is now stuck at the station, he falls asleep but awakes to find an old steam train waiting for him, he debates for a while about whether or not to get on board.

Firstly, a fantastic opening scene. With an ominous tone, a slow and steady zoom in on a dark and gloomy tunnel, the sound of a mysterious steam train rings out, abruptly cutting to black before it is revealed by the daylight. Straight away the viewer is pulled in — and that’s very hard to achieve within the boundaries of the short film. Following the black screen, we find Graham in a pub with friends. With no money left, he has to catch the train but it leaves in 5 minutes. Graham rushes to the station but alas, it’s too late. An encounter with a worker on the platform sees him waiting there overnight… until the steam train we heard in the opening pulls up slowly.

This is where things get interesting. Calum Young’s directional approach is superb. The lifeless aura around the train sparks up questions for debate. I think what I take from it is also what most others would; A drunk man sprinting to a station at night, falling asleep on a bench, and then stumbling perhaps unknowingly onto a “train.” It seems to be a more structured look at unfortunate, accidental deaths. The layers are present, and though not absolutely bursting with detail, it’s perfect for this running length.

As this is a college project, the acting understandably isn’t at a high standard, however it isn’t distracting. We mainly focus on Kieran Egan and Young’s characters, so it’s never an issue. That said, I must praise the skill that Siren has on show. This is a solid watch. It has all the elements of a great film, minus some cleaner production such as colour grading and smarter cinematography. But as college projects go, Siren is brilliant.

So within 6 minutes, Young’s short film manages to grasp the interest of the viewer, introduce a main character successfully, and take that character on a short internal journey, all the while offering up some questions for the viewer in a satisfying end. It’s not the “blockbuster” of the short film world, but a very fine and entertaining film in its own right.

Watch the trailer for Siren below.



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