Burning Bright

Director: Carlos Brooks (2010)
Starring: Briana Evigan, Charlie Tahan, Garret Dillahunt, Tigers.
Find it: IMDB, Amazon

I swear was going to review Burning Bright properly. I had every intention. With my critical faculties and everything. But something happened. Following Burning Bright's opening credits, something happened to sway and get me on side completely. In its very first scene, Burning Bright became The Greatest Movie Ever Made. This is what happened:

Anyone who knows me in the slightest knows that there are but three things I love more than horror movies about tigers: (1) Zooey Deschanel (2) Queen (3) Meat Loaf. Sadly, the first two aren't in Burning Bright. But the third is. And then, as if the awesome levels weren't high enough, Garret Dillahunt turned out to be in it too. Garret Dillahunt is practically a Terminator. Meat Loaf and The Terminator meat meet in a gas station and talk about Meat Loaf's psycho tiger which eats horses. Meat Loaf warns The Terminator that his psycho tiger is a very dangerous tiger. The Terminator buys Meat Loaf's psycho tiger. Bear with me here - sorry, poor choice of words. There are no bears in this movie - The Terminator wants to build a zoo in his garden. And Meat Loaf's psycho tiger is the star attraction.

Meat Loaf leaves at this moment, but we're left in good company with his psycho tiger and The Terminator. I suppose the two main characters are in it too, but they're not as much fun. Kelly (Evigan) is left to watch over autistic little brother Tommy (Tahan) after their mother dies. Sad times. Kelly is no Meat Loaf or Terminator, but she does walk around in her skimpies a lot, like Odette Yustman in The Unborn. The kid is annoying, hence a funny dream sequence in which Kelly smothers him with a pillow. Yes, I laughed.

Obviously the tiger which The Terminator just dumped on Kelly's front lawn manages to break free. And then into Kelly's house. Which is now escape-proof thanks to a bunch of anti-hurricane panels put over the doors and windows. What follows is like Panic Room but with a tiger instead of Forest Whitaker. Or Mercury Rising if Bruce Willis had decided to feed the autistic kid to a tiger. Or like Die Hard in a house with a tiger instead of terrorists. Evigan is barefoot throughout, which is probably not a reference to Die Hard, but I'll pretend it is. What commences is an epic battle of wits between a girl and psycho tiger.

My bet's on the tiger, who wasn't stupid enough to be in Step Up 2. It's a great performance from the tiger by the way (or tigers - three tigers were enlisted for the making of Burning Bright) - far better than the guy from The Hangover. Aside from Meat Loaf, the tiger(s) is the best actor in this movie. No disrespect to anyone else though.

The kid continues to be annoying, but never derailing the whole thing. He demands a sandwich whilst they're being attacked by a fucking tiger, and then he tells Briana Evigan to get dressed. I nearly smothered him myself at that. Thankfully the tiger attacks again before she can put any clothes on. There's a Halloween style wardrobe attack, crashing through walls and much more than you'd have thought possible from a movie about a woman fighting a tiger in a house. Burning Bright may have buttered me up with Meat Loaf, but I stayed put for the thrills, tension and action sequences.

It fails completely as an adaptation of William Blake's poem (dumbed down for the horror generation) but is an otherwise wonderful movie full of tigers, Garret Dillahunt, a pretty girl running around in her undies for ninety minutes and Meat Loaf. Burning Bright is rated thusly:

Bits of the movie with Meat Loaf in:

The rest of the movie:

1 comment:

  1. I wished that his movie was interesting. It wasn't. I really did try too.

    Wake me when the tiger actually does something other than move just off-camera.