Briefly On The Burning.

Tony Maylam’s The Burning opens well, suggesting that it’s a picture part way between camp-fire-slasher-flick and 70's style psychological thriller, ala Taxi Driver. Such optimism is soon but a distant memory though, as city streets give way to a familar camp-side setting.

Some great POV camerawork elevates The Burning from a stylistic perspective, which flies in the face of a largely derivative plot. Your basic camp-kids-get-killed-style slasher, Maylam’s film is B-list at best when placed alongside it’s contemporaries and influences in the Horror canon, with it’s combination of Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street and Deliverance.

There are glimpses of genuine subversion (the film’s “final girl” is a guy, for one thing), but The Burning doesn’t quite have the intellectual nouse to suggest that such readings are anything other than audience projection. At one point the film feels as though it’s going to say something interesting about domestic abuse, as one character expresses concern to another regarding the behaviour of her beau, but this is undermined in the blink of a cut by the leering camerawork so commonplace in films of this ilk that doesn’t so much chart the female body as it does invade it.

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