Newest Reviews
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Power of the Dog, The
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
  Burning Bright Tiger on their tail
Year: 2010
Director: Carlos Brooks
Stars: Briana Evigan, Garret Dillahunt, Charlie Tahan, Peggy Sheffield, Mary Rachel Dudley, Tom Nowicki, Meat Loaf, Katie, Schicka, Kismet
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Kelly Taylor (Briana Evigan) is all set to go to college and leave her autistic kid brother Tom (Charlie Tahan) in a special school when she discovers her late mother’s bank account has been emptied. Her stepfather, Johnny Gaveneau (Garret Dillahunt) spent all the money buying a dangerous tiger which he plans to make the star attraction after he turns their home into a safari park. Later that night, while a hurricane rages outside, Kelly comes downstairs to find the doors sealed shut and the tiger loose in the house...

One could easily imagine Burning Bright playing drive-ins back in the Fifties or Sixties. Given the premise is so potent it is strange no low-budget filmmakers ever tried this before. Working from a story devised by producer David Higgins, screenwriters Christine Coyle Johnson and Julie Prendiville Roux pare the plot down to the barest essentials: a tiger in the house, a storm at the door, and two terrified kids trapped in the middle. That is it. And to be honest, at least in this case, that proves enough. There are many more elaborately mounted horror-thrillers that fail to pull off a single suspenseful or emotionally engaging scene. Newcomer Carlos Brooks makes intelligent use of the low budget. Confining the action to a single space, he uses prowling P.O.V. shots and stages inventive instances of claustrophobic terror. Notably a sequence with Kelly hidden inside a large funnel while the tiger prowls below. Her beads of sweat fall, one by one, and altert the tiger to her presence. Another nerve-wracking sequence finds the siblings trapped under the bed as the tiger rips through the mattress. Later on there is a genuine frisson when the big cat peers through a crack in the wall right into Kelly’s eyes.

Early on, Meat Loaf cameos as the man who sells Johnny the offending animal. He relays an anecdote about how the tiger was thrown out of the circus for killing a horse, concluding the creature is “pure evil” because it deliberately focused its cruelty on “the pretty one.” However, Brooks opts not to explore this intriguing “beauty and the beast” subtext and though its title alludes to a poem by William Blake (“Tyger, Tyger, burning bright”), the film stays defiantly unpretentious. Its sole focus is to keep viewers on the edge of their seats for an hour and twenty minutes. And largely succeeds. Some greater depth and complexity would have been welcome, had the filmmakers aimed for more of a nightmarish film noir tone rather than a straightforward thrill-ride.

There is some heart to the film however as its main focus is the strained, but ultimately loving relationship between caring Kelly and vulnerable, if troublesome Tom. Tom proves more hindrance than help, often shrieking loudly enough for the tiger to hear, refusing to hold Kelly’s hand and even punching her when she gets too close in one tense scene. Admittedly he is rather irritating, but his actions serve to highlight how hard it is to cope with an autistic child. Even before the tiger shows up, Kelly has to keep a watchful eye on Tom twenty-four/seven. She even dreams of smothering him with a pillow but cannot bring herself to abandon him. Tom is simultaneously Kelly’s chief obstacle and her goal, the very thing that will define what kind of person she will become and the film ends their relationship on a pleasingly cathartic note.

Brooks ensures Briana Evigan stays cute and sweaty in her underwear throughout most of the movie, but thankfully her character is no screaming bimbo. Johnson and Roux have scripted a gutsy and capable heroine it is easy to root for and Evigan, best known for dance movies like Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), delivers an exceptional performance and also co-wrote and performed the fine closing theme song.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 2431 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: