Directed by: Carlos Brooks
Plot: After the death of her mother, Kelly (Sorority Row's Briana Evigan) must care for her autistic brother (Tahan), but their loathsome stepfather (Last House on the Left's Garret Dillahunt) is making it awfully hard for Kelly to leave home. Attempting to cut his loses, he releases a ravenous tiger in the boarded up house during a hurricane.
Out of the vast majority of home invasion flicks released in the past ten years, we've seen hooded figures, rapists and robbers, so credit can be given to Brooks for sparking a sense of originality in the worn genre. A tiger released in a secluded house during a hurricane; farfetched and somewhat comedic, but it's an undeniable change.
With the straight to the point plot placed on the tables, surely "Damn, they're screwed!" is circling throughout your mind. In any other case, most probably. That is unless Step Up 2 babe Briana Evigan (also seen kicking ass in horror remake Sorority Row) is cast as the leading lady, then you have an actress willing to give as much charisma and physicality to a role as possible. Attempting to care for her brother whilst maintaining their distance from the starved tiger proves irresistibly entertaining.
Unarguably carrying the film, Evigan's strong female lead overpowers all co-stars, with Tahan (seen previously in this year's Charlie St. Cloud) performing merely passable and Dillahunt's villainous stepfather figure proving once again how he was truly born to play such hideous characters.
Capturing a dozen successfully intense scenes, it's obvious Brooks tries his hardest to also keep his distance from the need to use computer graphics. As the film progresses and the tiger becomes all too aware of his potential prey, the need for CG comes into focus. Thankfully, it's never over-used, with Brooks sticking, mostly, to the real-life feline available.
Burning Bright is far from perfect, but with the straight-to-DVD fate, it's simply an entertaining, fiercely intense thriller, with Evigan proving she can do more than just dance and scream her way into the limelight.