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. Meanwhile, John's stepdaughter, Kelly (Briana Evigan) is 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 payment to the hospital is rejected; upon calling her bank, she is informed that John withdrew all the money and closed the account.

After bringing the tiger home, John instructs his workers to board up the house in preparation for and approaching hurricane. As the windows are being secured, Kelly confronts John and begs him to give her the remainder of the money; he explains that he spent it all on the tiger. 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 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; however, she is on a scholarship and has already deferred twice, and her professor 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, where she dreams 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 is investigating, she sees the tiger cross the foyer beneath her.

In her room she tries to break open a window, only to discover it is boarded up. As she moves throughout the house, she discovers that all of the windows and doors have been secured, and she is trapped. She is horrified to find that Tom is missing from his bed, but she is unable to use the house phone to call for help, as the hurricane has brought down the phone lines. After discovering her phone is not on the charger where it is supposed to be, she realizes that she might have dropped it down the laundry chute with her clothes. She sneaks into the laundry room to retrieve it, and makes another attempt to contact emergency services; due to the high volume of calls, however, she is unable to do so. She tries calling John, but his cell phone is in his car, which is parked outside of a bar. John is inside drinking beer and gambling.

Several close encounters follow between Kelly and the tiger; Kelly and Tom hide in John's study, with Kelly bleeding heavily as a result of her injuries from the tiger. She barricades the door with a desk and bandages her leg. She soon discovers that John has taken out life insurance policies on both her and Tom, and intends to collect the money upon their deaths. 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, and tells Tom to go to the laundry room. As the tiger approaches, she cocks the gun and fires, but the first chamber is empty and Kelly is forced to flee.

In the laundry room, she is able to break the board-covered window and climbs out just as the tiger breaks in the room and leaps to attack her. She runs to her car, but as she is trying to start the engine, she remembers that Tom is still alone in the house with the tiger. 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 the tiger attacks. She then 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, she hums a lullaby for Tom, and he falls asleep.

The next morning, Kelly wakes to the faint sounds of drilling; John is 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, intending to kill the tiger. Kelly pleads for John to let them go. It is then that John reveals that Kelly's mom was going to leave him, so he killed her and made it look like suicide. Following the murder, he removed Kelly and Tom from life insurance, and admits he was responsible for sending the tiger into the house to kill them. Suddenly, the tiger leaps and attacks John, breaking his spine. It then drags him a few feet away and proceeds to eat him, allowing Kelly and Tom to sneak out of the house. Standing outside among debris from the hurricane, 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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