By Sarah Musnicky
Depression, resentment, anger, and more can easily bubble under the surface. What we do with these emotions defines who we are as a person. Whether you’re a social outcast or the mayor’s wife, in EVERYONE WILL BURN, audiences see that no one is truly good. In fact, all are steeped in sin. With no good soul among them, it’s no wonder their small village's prophecy is close to fruition. Is anyone truly good enough to stop it?
Directed by David Hebrero, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Javier Kirán, EVERYONE WILL BURN stars 30 Coins’ Macarena Gómez, Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Milán, Rubén Ochandiano, Germán Torres, Ella Kweku, Raquel Lobelos, with Fernando Cayo and Saturnino García, and introducing Sofía García. With this cast of ensemble players shaping the village audiences encounter for the first time, all succeed in capturing a particularly hypocritical small-town mentality.
In a perfectly shot opening sequence, the audience is introduced to the emotionally turbulent María José (Macarena Gómez). Perched on the edge of a bridge outside of town, she’s ready to end her life. Still reeling from the death of her son’s suicide years prior and practically abandoned by everyone around her, it’s no wonder she’s reached this point. But just as she’s about to jump, she is stopped by the mysterious young girl, Lucía. Little does María José know that this meeting will completely change her forever.
After María José returns to the village, the tragedy that has befallen her is revealed as Sofía García’s Lucía slowly takes revenge on the village’s inhabitants. The paranoid, superstition-ridden town starts believing they didn’t defeat the prophecy. As more inhabitants start to die gruesomely, all signs point to the two odd ones out. This eventually reaches a fever pitch towards the film’s climatic third act, but you must sluggishly wade through the more uneven second act to get there.
EVERYONE WILL BURN verges on melodrama, with Macarena Gómez’s performance swinging wildly every which way emotionally. As the film’s resident outcast, she leaves no stone unturned in violent emotional outbursts, giving rise to a wholly complicated protagonist that will not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Grounding things in EVERYONE WILL BURN is newcomer Sofía García. There is a quiet, confident energy to her take on Lucía, giving that sense of otherworldliness in connection to her powers. Paired in scenes with Gómez, a balance is necessary to keep things flying off the rails. García easily achieves this and proves to be the highlight of EVERYONE WILL BURN.
As for the story itself, EVERYONE WILL BURN struggles to get from point B to point C. With the opening and enticing beginning to the reveal of Lucía’s powers, we see how María José makes the perfect candidate to fulfill the prophecy. But the prophecy itself, despite the expositional components filled out, doesn’t seem to fully make sense. That’s not necessarily bad, but at a certain point, María José accepts her mantle with no real understanding of what or how she will take this place.
Instead, we spend most of the second act watching María José further isolate herself from the community, which is generally revealed to be morally compromised. No one is good in this film, though they are capable of good acts. Perhaps this is the crux of EVERYONE WILL BURN. With the death of innocence, who else can be spared?
We watch as others are picked off, creating some visually memorable moments that capitalize on actor Sofía García’s devilish smile. Despite these moments and the buildup of the people around María José, the middle of EVERYONE WILL BURN loses its fire. With a pace that stumbles to right itself, we’re left whiplashed by the time the film’s climax ramps up.
EVERYONE WILL BURN intrigues. With a distinct visual palette and melodramatic execution in events, the film highlights the promise of director/co-writer David Hebrero and what he can bring to the table. With some more finessing of the story to tighten up the middle and a deeper dive into the themes presented in this supernatural horror, EVERYONE WILL BURN could be explosive.
EVERYONE WILL BURN is now available in theaters and digitally.