Fantastic Fest 2022: David Hebrero’s ‘Everyone Will Burn’

Maria Jose (Gomez) mourns the recent death of her young son and is driven, literally, to the edge with grief and anger as she comes to grips with the reality that the entire town in which she lives is aware and gossiping about it. As she is about to end her life, a small figure, Lucia (Sofia Garcia), intervenes. She looks lost and troubled and Maria Jose takes her in. In doing so, she fulfills an old prophecy which leads to the horrific deaths of those that come in contact with Lucia, who appears to have powerful psychic abilities and the ability to control minds. Soon, Maria Jose’s goals and Lucia’s align in a campaign of revenge against the high-minded townspeople who have ostracized Maria Jose for years and, as the title suggests, no one will be safe from their wrath. 

It might be recency bias, but Garcia’s commonality with Isabelle Fuhrman’s Esther in both Orphan and Orphan: First Kill (the latter is, for my money, 2022’s most unexpectedly fun horror movie) isn’t lost on me. The ‘creepy kid’ motif is well-worn in horror, of course, but Lucia and Esther both conceal (or attempt to conceal) darker secrets and much more power than their young – or ‘young’ – ages would suggest. In both cases, you kind of find yourself rooting for the young woman who’s sticking it to those that choose to cross them. Girl bosses come in all sizes, of course, and even more so when they’re forcing their bullies to chow down on their own fists. 

If there’s a word to describe the composition of Everyone Will Burn, I’d have to go with ‘decadent’. Rich colours and vibrant pyrotechnics take the stage here, and close-ups of both Maria Jose and Lucia have the capacity to induce major tension as well as deep sympathy, since both experience a kind of persistent anguish that drives the explosive vengeance throughout. Deaths here are as inventive and satisfying as in a Final Destination movie, with the added bonus that Hebrero really makes you want to see these townspeople get theirs.

Everyone Will Burn is folk horror done right. It blends mythology with modernity and a strong dose of sweet, satisfying murder. David Hebrero has crafted a compelling story here, buoyed by one whiz-banger of a performance from Macarena Gomez, who screams and slyly smiles in close-up for large parts of the movie, and from a fantastically creepy debut from Sofia Garcia. Raven Banner’s got a winner with Everyone Will Burn, and revenge is coming for those who deserve it. 

Everyone Will Burn played Fantastic Fest 2022, and is being repped by our friends at Raven Banner for distribution.

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