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Burning Bright More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Stripes of Terror

Author: zardoz-13 from United States
25 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Quid Pro Quo" director Carlos Brooks and "An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong" scenarists Christine Coyle Johnson and Julie Prendiville Roux have whipped up a genuinely suspenseful little claustrophobic thriller about murder and mayhem that relies less on CGI and more on the real thing. An idealistic twenty-something college student and her autistic little brother find themselves trapped in a house that has been boarded up for a hurricane with a ravenous Bengal tiger that hasn't been fed in two weeks. Brooks and his writers have done a splendid job setting up the predicament that confronts our heroine, and they play everything straight down the line. The exposition about the tiger and his lust for human flesh is established early on when the guy who is selling it informs the buyer that the cat is downright vicious. This fellow tells the new owner that the animal leaped a 16-foot high cage and ate a horse while everybody else in the circus fled. He warns the new owner not to put his hand on the cage. Later, after he has bought the beast and driven it back to his home, he warns the workmen there who have to board up the house not to touch the cat. Inevitably, somebody ignores him and the cat bites a guy's hand so badly that the fellow has to go to the hospital to keep from losing a finger. Shrewdly, Brooks and company confine the bulk of this nimble 86 minute epic to the interior of an ordinary, two-story house.

Meantime, the sympathetic heroine has been struggling to find someplace to take care of her little brother. Eventually, when she does, she learns that the evil stepfather has drawn every last cent out of the bank account. Kelly Taylor (Briana Evigan of "Step Up 2: The Streets") brings her brother Tom Taylor (Charlie Tahan of "Nights in Rodanthe") who is afflicted with autism, to the house. Calculating Johnny Gaveneau (Garret Dillahunt of "Last House on the Left") has bought a dangerous man-eating tiger and takes it to his house where Kelly and Tom are awaiting him. Before Johnny leaves, he turns the tiger loose to roam the premises while he bellies up to a bar for a beer or two. Kelly and Tom wind up playing a game of cat and mouse with the tiger, and Brooks does a splendid job of setting up the situation. Little Tom is a walking and talking story complication. Of course, Kelly leaves her cell phone where the cat is. Later, when she has enough time to get onto a computer to send out a distress call, the computer doesn't work because it cannot locate the server. "Burning Bright" is a low-budget, but entertaining nail-biter that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This tense, white-knuckled thriller delivers good performances and tension-clinching action. Undoubtedly, the best scene occurs when our heroine takes refuge from the growling tiger in a laundry chute. Literally, she has to squeeze herself up the chute and the tension that comes from maintaining her impossible position while the curious tiger wanders around the room is superb. Eventually, she drips a drop of perspiration and the tiger licks it off the carpet and looks up at her with a glint in its eyes. Suddenly, the tiger lunges up the chute and our heroine is put to the ultimate test of scrambling up the slick interior of the chute to the door upstairs while the tiger claws against her the chute. The filmmakers derived their title from British author William Blake's poem "The Tyger" published in 1794.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Predictable but very well done

Author: F_Jenkins from la
23 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS: It's another one of those movies where you go "okay, what will they do in this situation that no one in real life would do" but really, there wasn't much of that at all.

There was a part where she gets a gun and I feel most people would have finished it there, but the way it was handled wasn't too unbelievable.

Otherwise I was pleasantly surprised. I was getting really annoyed with the autistic brother the first half hour (how much longer are we going to have to sit through this?) but once the tiger is in the house, it's another obstacle the girl has to deal with which was good.

The movie was very well directed and I love the tiger (or tigers as it was, played by three real tigers). You absolutely know how it's going to end and I guess there is no other way for it to end (and with the perfectly cast jerk step-father) but as an animal lover, I will say I thought for sure the tiger would be killed at the end and lo and behold she isn't, which was another plus in my book.

There are some fx with the cast intermingling with the tiger but the tiger itself is real which was wonderful for this type of movie.

Great job. I recommend!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Some enjoyable moments, but not a whole lot right

Author: GL84 from Los Angeles, Ca
13 October 2015

Trapped together during a vicious hurricane, a woman must protect her autistic younger brother from the vicious, man-eating tiger her step-father illegally bought in the house with them.

Overall this one wasn't all that bad but definitely wasn't all that great either. What really tends to work for this one is the fact that there's some admittedly chilling stalking going on here as this one really manages to exploit its main premise quite nicely. The fact of getting the early scenes of the creature attacking the different workers and its back-story give off a quite effective reasoning here for the terror of the creature, and it manages to really work these quite nicely once it's loose in the house as there's a lot of genuine tension here of the monstrous beast walking around oblivious to the family members who leave just as it enters or trying to pass by undetected while attempting to do something else. This stalking here gives these scenes, from the attack in the laundry room while trying to dial here which it traps her in the vent shaft leading out of the room upstairs and the stalking in the bedrooms trapping them under the bed makes for some thrilling action to go along with the thrilling stalking. Moreover, downstairs is just as much fun with the fine encounter in the kitchen and a big chase through the house trying to lead it away from her brother trapped in a closet that has been opened rather nicely which is pretty terrifying and makes for quite an impressive enough sequence. As all of these are done by the use of a real-live tiger for the actions, it gives this a much stronger sense of realism that impacts the film greatly, but it's still not all that great as there's some individual problems that do creep up here. The main thing really holding this one back is the central premise, which not only doesn't seem usable in a full-length feature film but doesn't provide all that it could've been used for here. This one here is basically only useful for generating means of keeping the two out of harm's way in order to keep the tiger with viable targets to hunt, and that wears thin quite easily with the fact that it spends the entire time forcing that issue and really sapping the suspense that could've been generated from these incidents. Likewise, the fact that the brother is autistic doesn't do this many favors since it's more of a gimmick than anything else to bring about another challenge to get over as whether or not his antics will bring about them getting caught or not, and they get annoying enough to the point of hoping the tiger gets him anyway in hopes of just ending it. This also brings about the film's other big flaw, in the lack of a big body count here as there's only three main characters here and the chance for really letting loose with a graphic, body-count filled creature feature isn't possible with what's attempted here. Otherwise, this one wasn't all that bad.

Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Impressively tense

Author: yeltzmanmatt from Birmingham, England
4 November 2014

A girl and her autistic brother are locked in a house with a Tiger during a hurricane. On paper this film sounds a disaster waiting to happen and that was what I was expecting. Sometimes it's nice to be surprised by a film though and this was one of those occasions for me.

Once you have got over the standard opening which sets the scene, it really picks up the pace. Some of the scenes in the house are incredibly tense and the director is to be applauded for that in a genre where most things have been done before.

Although it's a film with a modest budget it is well made and professional. The acting is mainly just average apart from a believable and spirited performance from the lead actress Brianna Evigan. I liked the ending of the film which thankfully didn't undo all the previous good work.

Burning Bright is an intelligent, tense and highly enjoyable film that is a cut above many of it's higher budgeted rivals. Better than it's current rating of 5.9 would suggest. Worth watching.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Inexplicably keeps you watching until the end

Author: amesmonde from Novelist of The Final Version
12 October 2010

An 'escaped' hungry Tiger hunts down a Teenage girl and her autistic brother in they're boarded up house while a hurricane rages outside.

What starts as a Jurassic park rip off creature feature briefly turns in to a HBO drama, as Kelly (Briana Evigan) must look after her brother as their Stepfather Johnny isn't much help, in fact he's stolen the families savings to open a Safari park. Terminator TV actor Garret Dillahunt gives a limited performance as the Stepfather who purchases a Circus Tiger from Howie (played by Meat Loaf) who can't wait get rid of the animal.

The film hasn't got a sci-fi movie channel feel but Burning Bright is an odd film, mixed with a variety of genres. Novice Carlos Brooks direction is effective enough, however, the Tiger never comes across as menacing. The animals trainers clearly don't want to bring out the Tiger's nasty instinctive streak and he ends up looking like a Tony Tiger of Frosties cereal adverts.

For most, Evigan's in shorts and a vest top climbing bare foot up laundry pipes and jogging though out the film maybe enough to keep your interest. On the other hand some may find how she handles her demanding autistic brother and the Tiger itself fascinating.

It's a film with big ideas but a small budget, let down by the ludicrous set up of how the Tiger gets to the house and the elaborate reasoning why he's been let loose. Should the tiger had just escaped from a Circus truck in a storm and gets into the house it would have given the story some credibility and weight. Less in this case would have been more.

Still, it's because of it cinematic look and feel the weirdly titled and bizarre story inexplicably keeps you watching until the end.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Mixed feelings

Author: BakuryuuTyranno from United Kingdom
31 January 2011

The essential premise behind "Burning Bright" is pretty good. Naturally well, nobody can really relate to finding tigers walking through their house, but we all know it would be pretty terrifying experience, and naturally it's exactly what the protagonists are experiencing now.

Actually sometimes its almost as if the tiger understands the house's design somewhat, and it keeps showing up surprisingly persistently; granted it's starved but finding the people so often stretches believability a bit.

Then there's the real problem. For conflict reasons, the protagonist's brother is autistic. Now autistic people consider routines important but in my experience they kinda pout when something throws off their routine, maybe not even that. Shouting and screaming seems doubtful. Autistic people are impaired in communications ability and social behavior; they're not incapable of understanding if their lives are in jeopardy. Yet said brother makes an awful lot of noise for someone in danger.

It's really unfortunately there's no commentary, because whether or not this character was based on an actual autistic (unlikely, but maybe...) is kinda important. I'd be surprised if he was although if not this character's portrayal brings the movie down somewhat.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: Perception_de_Ambiguity from The Divided States of Earth
17 June 2011

It takes its title from a famous William Blake poem about a tiger but it really should be titled "Sweaty Girl in Underwear in Despair as She's Being Chased by Nightmare Kitten from Zaire". Or if that is a bit too long how about simply "Sweaty Underwear Model in Distress"? The camera loves her and it's for the better. The film is more cautious about showing footage of the tiger and it's for the better. Not that the tiger isn't convincingly menacing but, you know...'Jaws'.

It's a pretty basic flick even though it has a not too gripping 40 minutes to set up the convincing-enough situation that involves Meat Loaf as the seller of the tiger in the opening scene and who sets up the tiger as the most viciously intelligent beast the world has ever seen by telling a story about how the tiger killed people and a horse at a circus.

When the autistic boy was introduced who started screaming and hitting his own head merely because he got touched on his arm by his sister alarm bells went off. That boy trapped in a house with a tiger? Well, this is going to be an excruciating experience. Astonishingly enough it turned out to be bearable even though in one scene he sits down at the kitchen table and yells "WANT EAT! WANT EAT NOW!" while his sister fights for them to stay alive with a roaming about tiger in the house.

Overall it's a fun enough time with a few nicely played jump scares and one stand-out sequence in which Sweat Girl grabs onto her wet life in a slippery pipe that leads from the ceiling up to the next floor. When one of her precious sweat drops hits the floor the lucky beast licks it up, discovers her in the pipe and reaches for the stressed steamy meat so with all her might she tries to climb up to reach the opening before the tiger reaches her wet ass. It's like a rapidly edited puzzle comprising of a lot of close-ups (see 'Psycho' shower scene).

6 drops of sweat out of 10

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not too bad.

Author: sforrester-3 from United Kingdom
1 July 2014

When I read the synopsis for this film, it almost put me off watching it. In fact, it turned out to be a reasonably tense thriller for the silly sounding premise. The acting was fairly solid, especially the female lead and the autistic brother was realistically played. As I've stated, the premise of the film is a bit stupid and unrealistic but the tension built up over the course of time sort of makes up for it. There were a couple of occasions where I actually jumped and it held my held my attention to the end. Overall, while this is no great piece of cinema, it makes for a good time passer and a reasonable one time watch.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A simple and an alternate title for 'Life of Pi'

Author: Reno Rangan from Somewhere in the Cosmos
16 May 2014

The fact was I was looking for the similar movies to 'Life of Pi' and this title popped out. I got interested after reading its synopsis and seeing the trailer though I was aware that the movie's a B grade so my expectation was never been so high.

I must say that I quite enjoyed it. There were plenty of flaws, but was not noticeable easily. The concept story was good, but the reason for it was not convincible. The behavior of wild cat was not exactly according to the reality. We know that it is a trained animal, though they were shied to expose it complete rather than showing with a shaken camera in crucial scenes. In the other side it was so quick in pace with three nice characters including the Royal Bengal Tiger. Overall a fine little thriller.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Melodramatic Tiger Thriller

Author: TheRedDeath30 from United States
20 July 2014

So, the summary goes like this. Young girl is struggling watching her life's dreams fade away, as she cares for the autistic brother left to her by a mother who commit suicide. They have been left in the care of an evil stepfather who has just plundered said heroine's college savings to buy a tiger for his new safari ranch. Naturally, he does this the day a hurricane is coming, conveniently setting up a scenario where our two young victims are trapped in a house with a hungry tiger.

Despite the ludicrousness of the plot, I thought I'd give this a chance based on many solid reviews I have seen on my favorite horror sites, figuring if they can build the tension well enough it's no sillier a plot than many other horror movies.

The first half of this film is buildup and character development with no real action taking place. While this is fine in and of itself and I have no problem with slow burn, or character development, the problem here is an overload of melodramatic family problems and hackneyed plot devices. Let's see, mom has commit suicide, leaving two children with an evil stepdad. One child is autistic (seemingly the trendy affliction of the time to pull a few heartstrings), leaving our heroine to feel responsible for his care, at the sacrifice of her own college goals. The dramatic touch-points just keep coming in the beginning. When the action finally starts to build, the clichés just keep coming. The setting is an oncoming hurricane, leading to our character's requisite trapping in their home. Naturally, the cell phone breaks so there's no communication. The car won't start on queue. The girl is the single worst close range pistol aim you'll ever see. Of course, she does find a way to get soaking wet in a white t-shirt since the director clearly felt he was missing any T&A to check off the horror rules list.

So okay, it's a direct to video thriller with a clearly out there premise, so maybe I'm being a little harsh? Was I expecting an Oscar winner? No, of course not, but I do expect creativity. Were there moments of tension? Yes, but every one of them telegraphed so far ahead of time that I was, literally, writing the script in my head as the action went on. Too bad Vegas doesn't take bets on movie plots, because I would have made a fortune by predicting the ending exactly as it happened about halfway through the film.

I will give it credit for the effects. This could have been horrible SyFy quality crap with laptop level CGI, but instead they went for practical effects with a real tiger and I did appreciate the director for taking that approach. I found myself at times amazed more for the tiger's "acting ability" and how well it was trained than for any action going on screen.

This movie certainly isn't a waste of your time and I've seen far worse DTV horror films, but it doesn't amount to the reviews I have seen either.

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