My History With the Film:
I caught the trailer for Burn sometime in 2018/2019. The movie’s gas station setting and quirky lead really appealed to me. So, I waited and waited and the movie never seemed to come out. I soon forgot about it.
About six months ago, I remembered the trailer and decided to go looking for the film. A quick search with the keywords “girl, gas station, overnight, horror” brought up Open 24 Hours, a horror movie that was being released the following week. I assumed this was it and never thought twice about it.
I watched Open 24 Hours, wrote a review, and moved on with my life. That was until a month ago, when I ran across a DVD cover for Burn and I realized I had watched the wrong movie. A quick check of the trailer confirmed my suspicions and I went on the hunt. Burn wasn’t streaming anywhere, so I ordered a $3 DVD from Amazon and kept my expectations low.
What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A young woman with social awkwardness finds herself in a horrible situation overnight in a gas station.
What I Liked About It:
-The performances by Suki Waterhouse (Shelia) and Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Melinda) were by far the two strongest of the film. Both actresses really instilled the proper attitude to their characters with Suki portraying Shelia as a total bitch and Tilda portraying Melinda as this soft spoken awkward young woman you just want to hug.
-I felt like the first thirty minutes were amazing. Very quickly we see who are characters are and how we can relate to them. Melinda has this innocence and this out of touchiness that is preyed on by Shelia that you can’t help but recognize and feel empathy for. Then things begin to go off the rails and so does the pacing and the rest of the script.
-The film doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable moments and I’m not necessarily meaning guts or gore. It forces you to watch uncomfortable situations that are cringe unfold and that is where the film’s true strength is.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-Sadly, after an excellent set up, the film falters very quickly. The film becomes muddled and the motivations of our various antagonists are muddied at best. I found myself waiting for the credits to come because once the movie lost it’s pacing it was all downhill from there.
-The original title was Plume.
-Director Mike Gan previous wrote and directed the Into The Dark episode: School Spirit.
I love single location horror films especially ones that take place over one night. Sadly, the script needed more work. I think the actors brought out the best in their characters as possible, but the pacing just wasn’t there. I wonder how much of a budget crunch might have hindered the potential of this film.
I rate Burn a two out of five and say skip it.