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Booth's Blog: When Animals Attack!
By Emily Booth, Wednesday 29th June 2016

Emily Booth Green Top Image 1No I’m not referring to the reality series (although the fact it exists at all is testament to our enduring morbid fascination with real animal attacks) but rather our heart pounding UK TV premiere Burning Bright this Saturday (July 2nd).

Now hear me out here because on paper this is not an easy sell. A man decides to turn his home into a safari park for some reason and buys his main ‘attraction’ a Bengal tiger (how one just buys a tiger is beyond me – but this is America after all) however with a hurricane fast approaching he boards his entire house up, with his two step – children ‘safe’ inside. Except they’re not alone. Somehow the extremely hungry tiger is trapped inside the house with them and has only one thing on its mind; meat. The two siblings must try and outwit this relentless powerful hunter using every resource, hiding place and escape route available to them. It does not sound like it could be that scary or tense. Except it is! It also has a slightly surreal quality to it, can you imagine going downstairs in the middle of the night to get a glass of water and then, OMG there’s a huge freakin’ tiger totally out of place, padding up and down your living room!

There are many reasons you should check this out; firstly, in this saturated genre it’s pretty difficult to come up with something that’s completely new and fresh, and this film succeeds on that score. Secondly, it would be all too easy and indeed obvious to use a CGI tiger for the film, but director Carlos Brooks discards this route in favour of using a REAL tiger in all the scenes! For safety reasons however (no insurance company would agree otherwise!) the actors never share the same ‘frame’ as the tiger. There is also a dark Machiavellian sub-plot involving the step father but I’ll leave it there to avoid potential spoilers. In short this is one sweat inducing horror thriller and a welcome change for the genre.

Such films are testament to the power of realism (however elevated) in horror. You don’t always need ghosts, demons or the supernatural to create something terrifying. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I truly think one of the best horrors, indeed films of all time is Jaws! The idea of a monstrous mouth just below the surface of the sea, poised open and ready to snap shut on our flesh at any moment is not only hideously frightening, it’s a real threat! A brilliantly crafted, though less monstrous film involving another animal is Cujo, on paper a feral dog attacking the neighbourhood does not sound that scary but it still had the power to make us all petrified of rabies! I recently had the surprising pleasure of watching Rogue (2007, Greg McLean) an ‘Ozploitation’ film from the director of the amazing Wolf Creek. Again this movie capitalizes on the more monstrous element of the crocodile, in that they are nothing but prehistoric creatures designed to kill but are near impossible to be killed in return. This film is brilliant fun, nasty and surprisingly tense.

Us humans may think we’re at the top of the food chain, but in so many instances we simply are not! Monsters really do exist in the real world, it’s just that usually, we’re safe from them…

Burning Bright, a UK TV Premiere Saturday 2nd July at 9pm.


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