Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Briana Evigan gets eye to eye with a tiger...Oct. 15 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
With a strong, intelligent, and likeable heroine played by Briana Evigan, Burning Bright (2010) is an enjoyable and exciting thriller, that could even be suitable as family entertainment. While the setup leading to a Bengal tiger becoming loose in a house during a hurricane is a little iffy, the film is generally quite well-written and delivers where it counts the most.
After the death of her mother, Kelly Taylor (Evigan) is trying to look out for the future of her autistic brother Tom (Charlie Tahan), and also complete her college education. Unfortunately her stepfather Johnny Gaveneau (Garret Dillahunt) has other ideas, using the money intended for Tom's care to buy a killer circus tiger. The wild beast is intended to be the main attraction in a "Safari Ranch", that Gaveneau intends to build at his residence.
Unable to enroll her brother in a special school, Kelly and Tom return home, just as a hurricane is closing in, and turn in for the night. The following morning, Kelly discovers that the tiger which had been in a cage outside the house, is now wandering loose inside. She also finds that with the doors and windows are boarded up for the hurricane, she is trapped inside as a rainstorm rages outside.
Thankfully, the writers make Kelly intelligent and level-headed, instead of the typical hysterical airhead often found in these types of affairs. It's like a breath of fresh air to see someone try to deal with a situation in a rational manner, without a lot of phony dramatics, and talking to themselves. Kelly is always thinking, analyzing the situation, and taking decisive action.
The true test of a film like this is how well the tiger is featured, and under the direction of Carlos Brooks (Quid Pro Quo), Burning Bright does this very well. Real Bengal tigers are used, and then skillfully and creatively integrated into the story, mostly utilizing green screen composited shots. There are many outstanding examples featuring the tiger, but at the top of the list is an attack in the laundry room, where Kelly has crawled up into the metal laundry chute, and is discovered by the tiger, who then tries to bite and claw her to pieces. Watching Evigan wedged in the chute, you may find yourself clawing onto something yourself. Another tense moment occurs when the Kelly stares into the tiger's eyes, and has to break through a wall to escape, as the tiger's jaws wind up inches away from an unperturbed Tom.
Fixated on his dead mother, Tom is in another world, and he doesn't miraculously become extra intelligent, or change into a hero. Prone to tantrums, he's not the most likeable kid, but it just makes his sister's efforts all the more impressive, as she has to do nearly everything by herself. Although her feet probably should have been cut to pieces by broken glass, and she only gets a small scratch from the tiger, Briana Evigan (Sorority Row) is certainly put to the test physically. The only thing her character Kelly doesn't do well is shoot a gun, as even at point blank range, she repeatedly misses the tiger. Aside from a bloody scene at the very end, there isn't too much that would be upsetting to younger kids. Just remember to cover their eyes at the finish.
By the end you have been through the house so many times, you almost feel you know your way around the place. The story includes some evil twists, and a few red herrings to help keep things from being too predictable, but there are some household appliances that you just know will be important. This is very much Briana Evigan's film, and she delivers big time.
The DVD has a short but informative feature called Forces Of Nature, that covers some of the technical aspects regarding how the scenes featuring the animals were done. With so many poorly done "animal attack" type films around, Burning Bright is a pleasant surprise, that while not flawless, gets a lot right, and genuinely has you pulling for those in danger, instead of just tagging along for the ride. As a genre film that is very rewatchable, Burning Bright earns 4.5 stars.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Maybe you didnt think Tigers were scary...Nov. 26 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I know it sounds silly, that a film about a tiger trapped in a house with two kids, might be enjoyable. Sure, the tiger isnt a supernatural killer, or a crazy Anthony Hopkins in a tiger suit, and no the plot isnt going to get noticed at the Oscars.
With that being said, I LOVE a movie that reminds us that nature is deadly. If you enjoyed the film "Black Water" based on the true life events of three people trapped in the mangroves as a territorial crocodile devours them, then you will probably enjoy this film.
If you are a fan of Alfred Hitchcocks, "The Birds" where, something as mundane as seagulls come to take your life, then you will probably like this film.
AND! If you ever saw "The Ghost and the Darkness" which I highly recommend (based on a true story) about serial killing, man eating lions that collect the bodies of their victims inside a cave... then you will like man killing tigers.
What I love about the effects, is that they used real tigers. No CGI, no puppet tigers, and of course the three tigers used to make this were not hurt in the production. (The DVD has a nice feature on how they made the film)
This is not for die hard gore fans, or people who need to get inside the mind of a serial killing/raping mad man. But this film IS for someone who wants a suspenseful plot, that they can actually go to bed and sleep afterwards without feeling dirty or in need of therapy.
In conclusion, I loved this movie! Maybe more so because the film makers didnt try to introduce me to a new breed of killing machines. It simply reminds us, if you forgot, that there are plenty of overlooked beasts on this planet that can rip your face off.
As a side note the musician Meatloaf makes a small appearence. :)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Briana Evigan is hotAug. 29 2010
The Movie Guy
- Published on Amazon.com
Kelly (Briana Evigan) attempts to unload her autistic brother at a special care facility so she can go off to college with the money left to her by her recently deceased mother who committed suicide. The plan fails when the check bounces. She finds out that her step-dad had removed all the money to buy a hungry Bengal tiger for his soon to be safari land (yes, the tiger had been starved). Kelly confronts her step-dad to no avail. At one point the only thing left for her to do is to scream into a pillow.
The house becomes boarded up due to a hurricane coming their direction. With the arrival of the hurricane, all communication is lost. The hungry tiger has been left loose in the house (a real Scooby-doo mystery as to who done it) while the step-dad is at the only bar in town open during the hurricane which has electricity (must have its own generator.)
Kelly sees the tiger before it sees her, but can't locate her brother Tom, a potential tasty little tiger snack. The rest of the movie is a series of tense scenes where they run, hide, and fight off the tiger. During the movie Kelly struggles with her feelings for her brother, who she loves, yet is a burden. Briana running around, showing lots of leg has a young male appeal. Acting was good, music background was acceptable, camera angles were also good to create "terror".
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Reminiscent of Stephen King's Older WorkAug. 18 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Burning Bright is a fairly average thriller, once you get past the plot holes and lack of a real story. The biggest drawback about the film is that it basically borrows its concept from "Cujo" by Stephen King.
For this being only his second film, Carlos Brooks did a surprisingly good directing job. He has a great eye for shots, so Burning Bright at least doesn't look low-budget like most Redbox fare. The fact that he used real tigers with no CGI or animatronics also bumped my review from two stars to three.
The story itself is weak, so the film has to rely on suspense. But even that's a problem, considering the conclusion is completely predictable, especially when a major plot twist is revealed. The scariest part of the movie for me wasn't even the tiger, it was an unexpected scene involving Kelly's subconscious feelings about her brother.
The best part about the film is the cast. Garret Dillahunt does a good job as Kelly's shady stepfather, and rocker Meat Loaf (Bob from Fight Club) gets a nice bit part. The ridiculously sexy Briana Evigan is honestly the main reason why the film kept my attention. Most of the movie involves her running around in a tank top and tiny sleep shorts, ultimately getting soaked wet from the rain (I'm not complaining). She's gorgeous with a sexy voice, and made the movie easier to digest.
There's a great 10 minute DVD extra "Forces of Nature" about the making of the movie, which includes footage of their work with the three tigers used for the film.
If you like psychological horrors such as Cujo, it's worth a rental. I thought it was solidly average overall, and wouldn't suggest that you buy the DVD until you rent it from Redbox first.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Burning Bright does just that!Sept. 24 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
If you can swallow the ridiculous setup you'll be well rewarded. The majority of the film is Kelly tiptoeing around the house in silence in an attempt to find a way out while being stalked by a ferocious tiger. Long stretches of silence/tension are punctuated by terrifying tiger attacks. All 11 feet and 600+ pounds of him. A scene in a laundry chute is one of the tensest sequences I've seen in years. Adding to the pressure is Kelly's autistic brother, who I'd throw to the tiger in order to escape (yes, he's that annoying) because he is unable to appreciate the feline danger and often disobeys Kelly when she hides him in a room or closet and instructs him to remain quiet. Adding a raging hurricane was a necessary plot convenience but it's ultimately brilliant! Even if Kelly is able to find a way out she'll be confronted with the life-threatening storm.
It would be a tremendous disservice to sum this film up as "a woman is stalked by a tiger", which while factually accurate does not capture the nail-biting tension the set-up affords. The tiger is very real and director Carlos Brooks does an excellent job showcasing just how scary it would be to encounter one of these orange monsters in real life. Loved this predicament!