This film was screened at Fantastic Fest
Director and co-writer David Hebrero‘s film “Everyone Will Burn” is a satisfying blend of religious and supernatural horror. Like a throwback homage that’s reminiscent of a giallo film blended with “Rosemary’s Baby,” this stylish, visually polished movie is not only great looking, but it shows a stunning flair for shooting the macabre. The story is provocative and interesting, even if the finished project skews a bit too far towards the melodramatic.
Set in a small village in Spain, the film tells the story of María José (Macarena Gómez), a grieving mother who has lost everything. Her son killed himself after being bullied at school, and her husband has left her all alone. In the opening scene, Maria is perched atop a bridge and ready to jump when a strange girl called Lucia (Sofía García) appears. Determined to help the bizarre visitor, Maria’s motherly instincts kick and she takes Lucia home. That’s when a string of horrific events, unusual attacks, and sudden deaths begin happening all over town.
Maria already holds great resentment towards the townspeople whom she feels are responsible for the death of her son, and she’s vindictive and boiling over with trauma-induced internal rage. Adding to the fray is a local legend that has long been shared among the townspeople which has the local priest convinced that the girl is the physical incarnate of the myth. He proclaims her a vehicle of evil, and all hell (to some extent, literally) breaks loose. Once Maria learns of Lucia’s supernatural powers, she relishes in the chance to use them to take get back at those who wronged her family.
It’s a twisted tale of vengeance and buried trauma which is elevated by a dominant lead performance from Gómez. She expertly conveys the feeling of being an outsider who is living with an unimaginable emotional pain, creating a character that’s unexpectedly sympathetic. Gómez portrays Maria as an unhinged woman with a thirst for vengeance that’s understandable, if also horrible.
Hebrero takes his time setting up the characters and their back stories in a way which some have accurately described as being like a soap opera. Parts of the story are exaggerated with a lot of melodrama, but even the biggest flaws amount to nothing but small stumbles. Have patience, because all of this culminates in a wild finale that doesn’t disappoint.
“Everyone Will Burn” combines characteristic elements of classic horror with a contemporary flair that will appeal to genre fans with a more sophisticated palate.
By: Louisa Moore