Writer-director Jesse Peyronel's Siren, starring Rob Krazinsky and Vinessa Shaw, hits DVD and Digital August 18 from Osiris Entertainment.
The dark modern fairy tale tells of a woman who has the uncanny ability to appear to each man as his heart's desire.
We speak to Peyronel about this unique and enchanting film.
What a great concept. Where does it come from, Jesse?
I wanted to tell a contained, financeable story that showed off my sensibilities. In this case, a dark modern fairy tale. A grounded take on what it would be like to have a mutant power. An intimate, relatable, X-Men story, if you will.
It’s obviously an original movie, and it plays as such, but are there any films that one might say Siren is inspired by?
More than films, I looked at TV shows like The Twilight Zone and myths and legends I picked up as a child in England. I grew up reading and rereading the classic Grimm stories, whose sensibility certainly lived up to the authors’ name. I’ve always loved mythical stories that tap into our urban lives, like the bookends to The Neverending Story where Bastian finds the book in a tiny old city bookstore. It felt relatable and magical at the same time… something I tried to emulate (and update) in SIREN.
Where was the movie shot?
Though I’m English and the post was done in Belgium, SIREN was shot mostly outside of Boston, with an additional day (the hospital scenes) in Los Angeles.
What was it about that area that lent itself so wonderfully to the story in Siren?
I was looking for an “enchanted forest” feel that you just can’t find in the Los Angeles area. Too dry. The north East Coast of America certainly has that green, lush feel. As far as the main location, we got so lucky finding the house we filmed in, a former group home for nuns, that our production design team, led by David Dean Ebert, did an amazing job turning into Leigh’s fortress of solitude.
Siren resembles a live-action fairytale. Is that the intention?
Oh, yes. I set out to make a dark modern fairy tale, that still felt grounded in the real world.
How would you describe Vinessa’s character? Is she a victim in your eyes?
She’s lived a very sheltered life, and in the film is only beginning to emerge. But I stop short of categorizing her as a victim, because she always finds a way to control her own destiny, even when she is seemingly trapped. I wanted to tell the story of a woman who is learning to to embrace her strengths to get what she wants.
Is the US the first country to see the movie?
It enjoyed a limited release in Benelux recently, but the US is the first full rollout.
Can you tell us what’s next for you?
I’m currently writing a pilot for Fox International Channels, adapting the Image Comic book series SHELTERED for me to direct, and adapting a novel also to direct that will be announced in the press in the next week or two.