She Who Must Burn (2016) – Movie Review

She Who Must Burn is an emotional journey. From the outside, it seems as if it will be an extreme Lifetime movie. However, on the inside, it is brimming with brutality and detestability, begging you to challenge your morals.

Directed and written by Larry Kent, She Who Must Burn is a disturbing story that really makes you question humanity. Ever since its first premiere in 2015, it has been making waves in the horror community, winning Best Feature Film at Fantasia International Film Festival and Blood in the Snow. It also won several awards at the Fright Night Festival including Scariest Film, Best Villain, and Best Supporting Actress.

After Angela (Sarah Smyth) refuses to accept defeat when her Planned Parenthood clinic is cut off from state funding, religious extremists see it as their duty to bring God’s wrath down upon her head. Sounds simple, right? Well, for the most part, it actually is that simple. It’s so simple that it’s completely believable and that is what makes it scary.

The religious extremists Jeremiah (Shane Twerdun), Rebecca (Missy Cross), and Caleb (Andrew Dunbar) are incredibly effective in their roles as antagonists. Angela, the protagonist, does an incredible job as well. The acting in She Who Must Burn is phenomenal. You truly believe that both Angela and Jeremiah believe that what they are doing is the right thing to do. At one point, Rebecca loses a child and has to bury it herself. Her agony is so palpable in this scene that a piece of you breaks right along with her. Unfortunately, the piece that broke off was what was left of her sanity.

she who must burn

The tone of the film set me off a little. She Who Must Burn has an incredibly depressing tfeel throughout its runtime. Is it terrifying? Yes, it most definitely is. However, most of the behavior committed by the film’s antagonists is so deplorable that you end up feeling completely disgusted with them. I am perfectly fine with hating a film’s villains but I do not like having to feel disgusted for over an hour straight. Stories like this make it hard for me to enjoy and receive the message that the film is trying to send. However, I think that was the point… to make the audience feel uneasy and they excelled at that.

She Who Must Burn is overall a good movie and does what it sets out to do. Plus, it will hold your attention throughout the story. It does a very good job showcasing the dangers of religious extremism and what can happen if you do not maintain an open mind against what is right and what is wrong. Some will say that this movie is very anti-Christian. I disagree with that entirely and think it was a bold move to use Christianity as a villain in this movie. I commend the filmmakers for that. We need more bravery in cinema and in order to do that, we have to step on a few toes. I would just caution the viewer to watch it when you are in a decent mood because it’s one those movies that will remain stuck in your head and makes you think about how shitty life can be.

About Preston Holt

At 5 years old i was catapulted in to the horror genre and have had no desire to ever leave it. I'm 26 years old with a great sense of humor and a thirst for the horror industry that just will never be quenched. I have a horror review site of my own called cabinintheweb reviews and when I'm not writing about, or watching, horror films, I am spending time with my spouse and my animals.

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