In Montgomery County, Kelly Taylor is ready to go to college and takes her autistic brother, Tom, to a specialized institution. However, the bank informs her that she does not have sufficient funds in her account to honor her check. Her stepfather, Johnny Gaveneau, withdrew the money from her account the day before. When Kelly arrives home, Johnny reveals that he used the money to buy a tiger for his 'safari show' project. In addition he has the house reinforced, in order to protect it from hurricanes, so all the windows and external doors are covered with wood. When Kelly awakes, she finds that the starving tiger is inside the house and Tom and she are trapped with the ravenous animal.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Written by Briana Evigan, Jean Baptiste Kouame, Michael O. McHenry and Alain Whyte
Performed by Freeskool
Published by Little Bean Publishing (BMI), Cherry River Publishing (BMI), Downtown Publishing (BMI),
Whyte Publishing LTD (ASCAP), Sobini Films (BMI) and Absolutely Sobini (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Freeskool and Sobini Films See more »
Pretty entertaining straight-to-video
I had absolutely no idea what to expect of this movie, which has a rather odd title that has nothing to do with its weird plot.
After the death of her mother, Kelly is the only person who can take care of her young autistic brother but she has tough decisions to make as she is also contemplating college as an option. When she takes her brother to their stepfather's house to discuss money matters. Things are hectic as a hurricane is on the way and the house is being boarded. He informs her that whatever money their mother had left, he has used to buy a tiger for his next project: turning this property into a safari park. Later, Kelly wakes up to find out the stepfather's gone, she and her young brothers have been boarded in the house and the tiger has been left loose inside...
Yup... this is actually the premise of this film. It stretches believability in so many respect that it detracts a little but the actual film is rather entertaining once you get past that. For much of the remainder of Burning Bright, it's all about Kelly trying to survive in this house, evade this huge tiger... and of course do all that while having to care for Tom.
Briana Evigan is really great as Kelly. She does well portraying a caring, older sister, she definitely has charisma on screen and she adds a certain physicality that is vital to the action taking place, as she has to crawl, climb, twist and run in several scenes. It doesn't hurt that she is easy on the eye and spends most of the film scantily clad but really, I see legitimate actress talent there and her deep voice coupled with her looks reminds somewhat of a mix of Demi Moore and Jodie Foster. I had no idea who she was (never seen her previous mainstream credits, which are impressive in some way) but she is definitely the number 1 reason to watch.
Christine Coyle Johnson and Julie Prendiville Roux have penned a story that has some heart but has obvious plot holes that Il will not reveal to avoid spoiling things. I think it is admirable how autism doesn't take a complete backseat in the story. It's not just a cheap plot device and there is an attempt to address this, while still keeping this an action thriller. Director Carlos Brooks is able to walk the fine line too.
Without a doubt, the star of the film for many will be the tiger. Everybody knows cats of any kinds are somewhat difficult to train and are considered dangerous at all times. Most of the scenes in this movie do a decent job at making us believe the tiger IS in the house WITH our actors but some technical shortcuts had to be taken. Brooks wisely elect to use a real tiger and has little CGI as possible but few scenes show any interaction between the tiger and its potential preys. The result is still a very organic film with some stunning scenes featuring our big cat (one in particular, where he licks sweat off the floor, was memorable to me).
Credit to the filmmaker, this is an old school movie featuring a live animal, some character development in what is otherwise a by the book action thriller. Bonus points for having actor Garret Dillahunt play the creepy stepfather. One more creepy role for this fascinating actor.
The whole thing plays out like a mix between a wild animal movie such as The Edge (1997) and claustrophobic thrillers like Panic Room (2002).
Are there plot holes? Yes. Could this have gone to theatres? Probably not. But if your expectations are low, you love tigers and enjoy decent thrillers, you will probably find this entertaining enough.
I also want to command the producers for providing information regarding autism and also regarding the possible extinction of tigers we are facing during the end credits. If only one person goes to those websites and find information, then the movie will have done more than its job as far as I'm concerned.
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