Burning Bright (film)

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Burning Bright
Directed by Carlos Brooks[1]
Produced by Wayne Morris
Cami Winikoff
Written by David Higgins
Christine Coyle Johnson
Julie Prendiville Roux[1]
Starring Briana Evigan
Garret Dillahunt
Meat Loaf
Charlie Tahan
Music by Zack Ryan
Cinematography Michael McDonough
Edited by Miklos Wright
Release date
  • 2010 (2010)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Burning Bright is a 2010 horror-thriller directed by Carlos Brooks and starring Briana Evigan, Garret Dillahunt, Meat Loaf, and Charlie Tahan. The film is distributed by Lionsgate.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


The film opens with a man driving a circus trailer down a silent road. He meets up with another man, John Gaveneau (Garret Dillahunt), and it is revealed that he is attempting to purchase a bengal tiger for the creation of a "Safari Ranch". Initially not believing the tiger looks dangerous or exciting enough, the seller tells him a gruesome story and claims that the tiger is evil. Later, his stepdaughter, Kelly (Briana Evigan), with her autistic brother, Tom (Charlie Tahan), whom she has taken to a special hospital in order for him to get the care he needs while she is at college. However, Kelly's check is rejected and when she phones her bank she is informed that John withdrew all the money and closed the account.

Bringing the tiger home John instructs his workers, illegal immigrants, to board up the house against the coming hurricane. As the windows are secured Kelly confronts John and begs him to give her the remainder of the money, but he reveals that he spent it on a tiger and there isn't anything left. Kelly is angry at him, telling him that her mother (who committed suicide by taking an overdose of pills) wanted the money to go to Tom and Kelly. However, there was no official will, so John just took the funds for himself. Upset, Kelly calls her college professor and asked to defer her start at college until the second semester, citing family issues, but is revealed that she is on a scholarship and has already deferred twice, and although her professor has sympathy for her, he tells her that if she does not start college that semester, he will give the scholarship money to someone else.

After sending Tom to bed, she undresses and goes to bed as well, dreaming of suffocating Tom so she wouldn't have to take care of him anymore. While she sleeps, the front door is opened, and an unknown person releases the tiger into the house. Waking, Kelly goes downstairs to the kitchen for a drink, finding a note from John claiming that he has gone to the store. Returning upstairs, she hears sounds in the house and as she decides to investigate, she sees the tiger cross the foyer beneath her.

In her room she tries to break open a window, but find it is boarded up; as she moves around the house she discovers that all of the windows and the doors have been secured and she is trapped. Tom is missing from his bed, and she is unable to use the house phone as the hurricane has brought down the phone lines, finding her phone is not on the charger where it is supposed to be she realizes that she has accidentally dropped it down the laundry chute with her clothes. She sneaks into the laundry room to retrieve it, but due to the high volume of calls, is unable to contact emergency services. She tries calling John, but his cell phone is in his car. Then, we see that John is sitting at a bar drinking beer and gambling.

Several encounters follow between Kelly and the tiger; eventually Kelly and Tom hide in John's study, with Kelly bleeding heavily as a result of her fight with the tiger. After pushing a heavy desk against the door, she bandages her leg and discovers that John has taken out life insurance policies on both her and Tom. In the study she finds a handgun, but there are only five bullets, she loads the gun and sneaks out into the hallway hoping to shoot the tiger, telling Tom to go to the laundry room. As the tiger approaches, she cocks the gun but the first chamber is empty and Kelly is forced to flee.

In the laundry room she is able to break the board over the window and climbs out just as the tiger breaks in and leaps to attack her. She runs to her car, but as she tries to start the engine she wrestles with the knowledge that Tom is still alone in the house and doesn't realize how much danger he is in. She returns to the house and climbs back in through the window. Upon finding Tom, she promises that she will never abandon him. She intends to lead him to the laundry room, but as the tiger attacks she instructs Tom to climb into the massive chest freezer John had bought upon deciding to open the Safari Ranch, and she climbs into it as well. Safe from the tiger for the moment, she hums a lullaby so Tom will fall asleep.

The next morning Kelly wakes to the faint sounds of drilling, it is John removing the board from the front door. Kelly and Tom climb out of the freezer and walk into the foyer to see John wielding a rifle and intending to kill the tiger. Kelly says that Tom doesn't understand what happened, so John should let them go. John reveals that Kelly's mom was going to leave him, so he killed her and made it look like suicide and he removed his children from life insurance at some point, revealing he was responsible for sending the tiger into the house to kill them. At this moment the tiger leaps and attacks John, breaking his spine, then drags him a few feet away to begin eating him, allowing Kelly and Tom to sneak out of the house. Standing outside in the wreckage of the previous night's storm, Tom takes Kelly's hand and they begin to walk away.



  1. ^ a b c McNary, Dave (2008-06-10). "Evigan is 'Burning Bright' for Sobini; Carlos Brooks to direct tiger thriller". Variety. 
  2. ^ DVD Verdict
  3. ^ DVD Talk
  4. ^ "Burning Bright: Director Carlos Brooks". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Movieline.com
  6. ^ Variety

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