BITS 2015: A Review of ‘She Who Must Burn’

Posted in BITS 2015, Festival Coverage, Movies by - November 26, 2015
BITS 2015: A Review of ‘She Who Must Burn’

Most people enjoy horror movies, because it provides for a little bit of the ridiculous along with the scares which for the most part is what we enjoy about them…but what about when it feels a little too genuine?  Currently enjoying a successful run on the festival circuit, writer/director Larry Kent’s She Who Must Burn is a visceral and brave piece of filmmaking that simply cannot be missed at the Carlton this weekend as a part of the fourth annual Blood In The Snow Film Festival.

Proof positive that anything can be taken too far, we are in small town nowhere where the Baarkers are a devoted religious family who whole heartedly believe that god speaks through them and they are tasked to deliver the word of god and when Angela’s (Sarah Smyth) planned-parenthood clinic is shut down by the state and she refuses to leave the community, the Baarkers take on themselves to deliver the “word” of god in their own special way.

At 78 years young, maverick indie icon Larry Kent may have come through with his best film to date, as She Who Must Burn pulls no punches, shows us far too much and puts us right in the middle of the debate of a woman’s right to choose and the unfathomable influence that the church can have in communities both big and small.

He pulls no punches what so ever, and everything that he throws on screen has meaning, we can NEVER look away.  Kent succeeds in making us uncomfortable as we are dropped into what could essentially be a real life horror story.  To his credit, he doesn’t break the tension, and we can’t look away as we see a town essentially devolve into mob rule.  The performances are solid from top to bottom, as no one plays it over the top and we just see the influence of this creepy family, with their patriarch serving time for killing an abortion doctor egging them on to take their gospel WAY TOO far.

It’s rare we see something genuinely fucked up that still packs an emotional punch and doesn’t cross that line into goofy and unbelievable, this is it and then some.  It’ll never hit a multiplex and fingers crossed it hits VOD or even DVD some day because She Who Must Burn is the kind of thing that has to been seen to be believed as it makes for one of the more unique cinematic experiences of the year, because nothing beats being genuinely unsettled.

She Who Must Burn plays on Sunday Nov. 29th at 2PM

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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.