I was really excited for Everyone Will Burn. Not only did the premise sound super intriguing, but the movie was also getting some good reviews from other festivals. So naturally, I was expecting to be impressed, and after finally getting the chance to watch the film, I’m happy to say I was pretty satisfied.
Everyone Will Burn was directed by David Hebrero, and it stars Macarena Gómez, Rodolfo Sancho, Rubén Ochandiano, Germán Torres, and Sofía García. It’s about a woman named María José who’s about to kill herself, but right before she goes through with it, a little girl named Lucía appears seemingly out of nowhere. María José tries to get Lucía to leave, but when she doesn’t succeed, she just takes the child home with her.
And almost immediately, strange and deadly things begin to happen. Lucía has some very Village of the Damned-esque psychic powers, and she has no qualms about using them. Because of that, María José’s neighbors quickly come to believe that the girl is connected to a local legend about the apocalypse, and those suspicions eventually give rise to a deadly rift among the villagers.
Right from the get-go, Everyone Will Burn had me totally hooked. For starters, the performances in this film are great, with the two best coming from Macarena Gómez as María José and Sofía García as Lucía. The rest of the cast is excellent too, but Gómez and García are given more to do than anybody else, so they naturally get to flex their acting muscles the most.
Now, most reviews I’ve seen are praising Macarena Gómez as the standout of this movie, but for me, Sofía García steals the show. When she first appears, she has the same kind of intensity that Millie Bobby Brown brings to her role as Eleven on Stranger Things, but it never feels like she’s just a copycat. She puts her own unique spin on that vibe, and it’s an absolute joy to see.
Then, as Everyone Will Burn progresses, the film shows us some other sides of Lucía, and García totally nails them too. She goes from mischievous and evil to playful and happy without breaking a sweat, so I completely bought into her character whenever she was on screen.
On top of the great performances, this movie also features some excellent horror and a really intriguing mystery. As I said, horrific things begin to happen almost immediately after María José meets Lucía, and the first time Lucía shows off her deadly power, it’s fantastic. I knew something supernatural was going to happen, but I didn’t think it would play out quite like it did. It caught me off guard even though I was expecting something cool, and that just might be the best thing you could ever say about a horror scene.
The rest of the horror in Everyone Will Burn doesn’t have that same surprise factor, but it’s still really good. Director David Hebrero does a great job of building up the tension before going in for the kill (quite literally!), so whenever I knew something terrible was going to happen, I couldn’t help but keep my eyes glued to the screen.
Similarly, the mystery in this film is also super intriguing. We learn very quickly that Lucía is there for a reason, but we don’t know what that reason is. It may or may not have something to do with the local legend about the apocalypse, but we can’t really be sure. It seems like it probably is, but the movie does a good job of making it just doubtful enough that we have to keep watching to find out what’s really going on.
Along with the great performances and the effective horror, this mystery carries Everyone Will Burn for the first two acts, but once the film starts to pull back the curtain and let us know the truth about Lucía, it loses a bit of steam. I’m obviously not going to spoil the third act, but I will say that the payoff isn’t nearly as interesting as the setup.
The truth behind the mystery is by no means a total “Oh, that’s it?” downer, but it is a bit more mundane than I would’ve liked. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a Scooby-Doo-esque bait and switch where the threat isn’t even supernatural, but it just didn’t surprise me the way I thought it would. There weren’t any big twists that I didn’t see coming, so while the reveals are perfectly fine in themselves, they simply don’t live up to everything that came before.
Last but not least, I also had a bit of an issue with the message of Everyone Will Burn. At its core, this is essentially a supernatural revenge story about a down-on-her-luck woman getting back at the townspeople who’ve wronged her, and I definitely appreciated that. However, I think the way the film conveys that message is a bit muddy.
It just feels like the story is confused about who exactly the “good guy” is here. Admittedly, that may sound like it just comes with the revenge horror territory, but something about this one still seems a bit off. Unfortunately, I can’t really say anything more without spoiling the movie, so you’ll just have to watch it for yourself and see if you feel the same way.
But at the end of the day, those two complaints aren’t nearly enough to derail Everyone Will Burn. The things it gets right (especially the performances!) far outweigh its weaknesses, so if you get a chance to watch this film at Fantastic Fest or when it inevitably gets released to the general public, I definitely recommend that you do.
Everyone Will Burn played at Fantastic Fest on September 23, and it will screen again at the festival on September 27.