Over the past few weeks, I have been seeing many genre critics referring to an embargoed film as, “one of the best genre films ever created,” and, “a whole new level of horror.” I think Everyone Will Burn is that film. This film spoke to me on so many levels, it is truly a work of art and is definitely one of a kind. There was definitely another factor at play for this film, as I had previously thought Macarena Gómez is one of the finest actors around. 30 Coins is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and since this film surrounds religion with Macarena Gómez as one of the focal points, Everyone Will Burn feels like an extended episode of 30 Coins but with so much more!
Everyone Will Burn centers around María José (Macarena Gómez) who lost her child, Lolo, years ago from self-harm caused by incessant bullying. When unable to cope with life anymore María decides to end it all by jumping off of a bridge. Seconds before jumping off the bridge, a child, Lucía (Sofía García), approaches her. This child initially makes María feel off, she knows something is off with the kid, though soon things will go awry and an unlikely duo will form with insidious goals. Everyone Will Burn is a transgressive genre film about love, loss, pain, and overcoming past traumas.
One of the most impressive aspects of this film is how every single action, like Newton, said, is met with an equal and opposite fully realized reaction. A pitfall plenty of genre films have is either a weak setup, a weak payoff, or a sad amalgamation of both. Just because you can put together terrifying images back to back does not mean your film is a success. There are tons of films I personally love that are flawed beyond belief, they look great and have fantastic visuals, but beyond that, there is little to work with. Everyone Will Burn on the other hand looks great, sounds great, and is all-around great.
Macarena Gómez gives this performance her all, as usual, leaving it all on the screen for us. Since the film hinges around the relationship between Gomez and Sofía García it is a must for them to be compatible together. Garcia is beyond spectacular and might have even done a better job than Gomez. The way they work off of each other is engaging and they really do an excellent job of working off of each other to create a cohesive and believable relationship.
Genre-bending often leads to sloppily made films that don’t know which direction they are taking. If you can’t successfully settle into one subgenre, as a filmmaker, attempting to throw many subgenres into one film will more often than not lead to failure. The way Everyone Will Burn includes multiple different subgenres, while also knowing what it really wants to accomplish, is impressive beyond belief. At its heart, this is a religious horror film, with touches of psychological horror, and a heaping dose of supernatural horror. If there was one thing 30 Coins taught me about myself is that I actually like religious horror, and if there’s something Everyone Will Burn taught me is that religious horror can be that effective. If I had to try and think what this film is like, it has the psychological dread of Hereditary, the atmosphere of mother!, and the general insanity of The House That Jack Built.
The small-town aspect of this film adds an overall level of claustrophobia, but not in a typical way. As we learn María still holds quite the grudge against the townsfolk, specifically the ones whose children were part of the bullying that caused her son to take his own life. It just so happens these townsfolk don’t really like María as well. This really creates a tense atmosphere, making us feel just as unwelcome as María feels. It’s not until her ex-husband David (Rodolfo Sancho) and his current partner Ari (Ella Kweku) come to town that we truly feel like María finally has someone in her corner. The scenes of the three of them really add a nice level of tension relief, though it doesn’t last for long as David and Ari really play into the whole Lucía thing going on. Since David and Ari don’t really call Lucía out for her general creepiness, this emboldens her, leading to the insane final 20 minutes of this film.
When it comes to a film like this, using practical effects over visual effects is a make-or-break choice. We start off strong with a man-on-fire stunt done so incredibly well, that Kane Hodder would watch in awe. There have obviously been many man-on-fire stunts in film, and it always feels unsafe. Fire stunts make me cringe in fear. I can say without any exaggeration the fire stunt in this film is one of, if not the, most impressive I have ever seen captured on film. The rest of the practical effects look amazing, and so do the small number of visual effects. There are a few scenes where practical effects just would not have worked, so the mixture of practical effects being enhanced by visual effects is spot on.
Having Everyone Will Burn as the second feature in your oeuvre is beyond impressive. What writer/director David Hebrero, as well as writer Javier Kiran, created with this piece of art, transcends our preconceived notions of the genre. A film that will undoubtedly go down in horror history, Everyone Will Burn is two hours of pure unadulterated perfection packaged in an accessible format that could appeal to all and is sure to scare all.