Sunday, November 13, 2011

Burning Bright and the Darkness of the Tyger's Maw: A Movie Review

Director: Carlos Brooks.

Writers: Christine Coyle Johnson, Julie Prendiville Roux, and David Higgins.

Burning Bright was loosely created from William Blake's 18th Century poem called "The Tyger," which begins " Tyger! Tyger! burning bright/ In the forests of the night,/ What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" Just as symmetrical is Briana Evigan as Kelly who tries to survive a night with a tiger on the loose. If that was enough, then a hurricane brings further terror in this exciting but repetitive popcorn flick from Lionsgate (2010).

Kelly has just lost her mother to a suspicious suicide and now she must help with her brother Tom (Charlie Tahan) who is autistic. Kelly must also deal with a greedy and manipulative stepfather who already has a series of plans for his ex-wife's inheritance. Strange how his plans go into effect right after her death with no period of grief. A hurricane is approaching, Johnny (Garrett Dilahunt), the stepfather, boards up the house and later he adds something into the mix, a tiger! Then, he leaves Kelly and her brother to survive the night trapped inside a house with the tiger. Let the cat-and-mouse terror begin.

The plot device of a tiger acting as a villain or as a killer is new to this reviewer and this unique plot device creates and holds the interest early. However, after fourty to fifty minutes of prancing around the house, this story could have used additional plot devices or sub-plots to keep the film unpredictable. The film just gets too repetitive with Kelly trying to vanquish or avoid "this deadly terrors clasp" (Blake). As well, the denouement or big reveal at the end of the film can be seen a mile away and the ending has been hinted at in this review.

Burning Bright is a fun time spent with some popcorn on a rainy Winter's night. Not complex in story but interesting in the choice of villain and character motivations, this film has some terror filled moments, but a twist or two was needed in the film's middle section. Rated PG-13, this terror tale is also light on gore and adult situations, so Burning Bright might satisfy some but leave others wanting even more thrills.

Overall: 6.25 out of 10 (good acting, interesting characters, great character - Johnny, a few tense moments and a good ending).

A second review of this film at DVD Verdict (Brett Cullum):

Burning Bright at DVD Verdict

William Blake's full poem can be found below. This poem and others were part of the Romantic Period in English literature:

The Tyger at Harvard

*released on DVD August 17th, 2011.

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