I have to admit when I heard the premise of this film I scoffed. I’ve seen enough killer crocodiles, piranhas, snakes and a whole other host of beasties to know that generally this kind of movie would be ludicrously bad. It’s fair to say that my expectations were low despite the slick and professional cover art; I know better than to be duped by something like that.
My fears were not allayed when the film opened and immediately there was talk of “safari ranches” and “evil tigers” with a penchant for destroying beauty. Fortunately this is where the film started to turn; when we are introduced to Kelly (Briana Evigan) who is struggling to cope with her autistic brother Tom (Charlie Tahan), her selfish stepfather and resident safari ranch owner John (Garret Dillahunt), the loss of her mother and her impending college education that is teetering precariously on a scholarship; bliss, an actual story line, character progression and a smorgasbord of themes for potential exploration later in the film. Thrown, I waited with anticipation to see what the film would deliver and if it would live up to the obvious potential it had displayed. The cast begin to hunker down for an impending hurricane whilst our heroine considers the tough choices she must make and the guilt over potentially leaving her brother. A mysterious assailant delivers a little midnight “gift” to Kelly and her brother in the form of a huge tiger and a cat and mouse game ensues as Kelly realises she is trapped in the house with a small child who does not understand the gravity of the situation.
The vast majority of the film takes place inside a house and less than that, really only a handful of rooms. Whilst lush, ever changing scenery can be tempting the strength of the setting in Burning Bright is the claustrophobia and the inventive ways the director manages, for the most part, to keep things fresh. All the cast put in good performances but they are really just devices to push Kelly and test her limits. Briana Evigan is not only easy on the eye but her performance is commendable and this is hopefully the precursor to a great career in film.
So if you like your monster movies with a bit of bite, Burning Bright is the way to go.
Video Sourced from Youtube.