Hello, my lovely ghosts and ghouls! I'm back with another film review, and this time, my heart is racing as I type this.
I was offered the opportunity to screen the film SHE WHO MUST BURN, directed by Larry Kent (who also co-wrote the film), and co-written by Shane Twerdun. These two may or may not have had some bad church-going experiences to write a film like this, however regardless of their religious affiliations, they wrote one kick-ass, disturbing, heart-wrenching film.
SHE WHO MUST BURN is the story of Angela (Sarah Smyth), a counselor at a Planned Parenthood clinic shut down by the state. Practicing out of her house was going great until a group of radical evangelists had a reason to take her practice personally...and they'll stop at nothing to force her to face her sins.
Having seen so many horror films over the course of my life, I reached a point in which I thought I was stuck. I wasn't enjoying films the way I used to - I started to feel immune to the films about paranormal entities throwing objects around the house, and gore was just not doing it for me anymore. Little did I know, all I needed was a religiously-charged film to truly shake me up (I should have known... THE EXORCIST to this day is still one of the scariest films I've ever seen).
Deep down, I'm still reeling from this film, and I feel it in the pit of my gut. You know that feeling when your horror film ends and you sit there, staring at the credits rolling, your blood boiling as you blink over and over trying to unsee everything you've just witnessed?
That's me right at this moment. I would say it's about 90% the fault of Missy Cross, who plays the grossly disturbing Rebecca Barker. What a performance - really, truly freaky and hateful. I always like to talk about casts when I review films, because I can point out when I enjoy cinematography or when I enjoyed special effects, or even when the blood looked real or fake, but it's the cast that makes or breaks a film feeling like it was done well (for me, at least). Give this cast all of the awards, because they made me uncomfortable, I felt sad, I felt angry, I felt excited, and it was all because of these guys. Sarah Smyth (the lead character, Angela) is stellar, and is great with her emotions. Shane Twerdun (oh look, a man of many talents) who plays Pastor Jeremiah Barker is almost unbearable because he's so evil and you forget that he's a character and not a real person.
The story itself is so, so sad because honestly, with the way the world is at this very moment, so full of hatred and intolerance, it could all be true. Things like this could be going on all over the world and we just haven't heard about it (or maybe we have...I try not to watch the news because it's too depressing). It's psychotic; it's almost unimaginable. With that being said, I want to thank Larry and Shane for such an eerie representation of fanatical religion (and also writing something so horrifying).
Yes, there is violence and some graphic deaths, and it is gratuitous and you see EVERYTHING. No cutting away, no insinuations...just pure, unadulterated gore and graphic images. It's great. It's every horror lover's dream. Can you tell yet that I don't have anything bad to say about this film?
For those of you unsure about watching this, or those of you that are just hearing about this film now, SHE WHO MUCH BURN is a MUST WATCH on your list. Well written. Well directed. Well filmed. Well performed. So many good things. I can't wait to watch this film again, and I'm sure I would notice things I didn't catch the first time if I watched it again right now.
Basically, watch SHE WHO MUST BURN. It'll shake you up, it'll change your perspective, and it'll give your horror-loving soul the little fix it needs.
Until next time, ghosts and ghouls,
Taylor Terrible <3
SHE WHO MUST BURN will be available on Digital HD & DVD October 11