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The Siren

average rating is 2 out of 5


Chris Buick


Posted on:

Apr 6, 2024

Film Reviews
The Siren
Directed by:
AJ Spencer
Written by:
AJ Spencer

Initially a writer and now an animator, AJ Spencer has become quite the content creator in recent times. Their series of fantasy books, The SnowRaven Chronicles, is a saga that now spans multiple entries and is available pretty much anywhere you can think of. Now within the last few years, Spencer has since been trying their hand at animation, primarily focusing on bringing the stories within The SnowRaven Chronicles to life. Honestly, it’s quite a YouTube rabbit hole to go down...for a very specific audience.


But now, Spencer offers us The Siren, a two-minute short not seemingly related to their other works but which is in fact Spencer’s short take on that classic tale where a hero is unwittingly almost lured to his demise by a tempting siren before a valiant huntress intervenes and rescues him.


What’s evident here, as well as in the aforementioned Chronicles and pretty much in all their other works, is that Spencer clearly has stories they want to tell within a very specific genre they are passionate about and creates their content with all the best intentions. Here in The Siren, the storytelling, while of course extremely simple and likely already known by many, is clear, concise and understandable; it even manages to take that classic tale and subverts some aged damsel in distress tropes by putting a female hero front and center, a common theme for Spencer’s work.


Unfortunately, the level of animation and indeed overall production of the piece is extremely crude. The background scenes are perhaps the strongest element in that regard, although they are still incredibly plain. The music at the very least attempts to add some kind of drama and impact to the whole thing, however in all honesty, it’s still a bit lacklustre. But it’s the limited animation of the film’s dead-eyed, emotionless and of course scantily-clad models (another common theme but again, there’s an audience for it) which are simply too distracting to ignore, each one awkwardly moving through repeated actions with almost no semblance of realism. In the end, visually, the film simply lacks anything at all to write home about, however again, as mentioned, Spencer’s work will have great appeal to a niche but very tangible audience who will always clamour for this sort of thing.


Unlike The SnowRaven Chronicles which at least can claim back something by offering something in the way of original stories, The Siren simply doesn’t have enough else going for it other than managing to convey a very simple narrative to make this version of a classic warning tale really stand out.

About the Film Critic
Chris Buick
Chris Buick
Animation, Short Film, Web Series
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