Everyone Will Burn, directed by David Hebrero and written by David Hebrero and Javiar Kiran, brings hell to a small town. In this Fantastic Fest feature, there is a lullaby, a prophecy, and a reckoning for a town built on secrets. The music is sometimes dramatic, creating a camp atmosphere instead of horror, but the line between good and evil blurs. Everyone Will Burn is one of the few movies you root for the devil.
In Leon, Spain, the movie begins with a woman, María José (Macarena Gómez), standing on a bridge about to jump. She sees a little girl, Lucía (Sofía García), behind her. After questioning the child, she decides to bring her to a police station when the cops pull them over. The situation spirals when María explains the child, covered in dirt, is not hers, but the girl calls her “mom.” The officer, suspicious of María, tries to arrest her, but the other officer stabs him, then himself burns up. Despite this clear supernatural event, María brings Lucía home with her.
Everyone Will Burn Delivers Engrossing Leads
María and Lucía are what holds the film together. The acting by the pair is entrancing. Lucía’s creepy smile and laughter should signal to run in the other direction. It is a shame people do not heed it. María has deep-seated pain, as evidenced by her plan to commit suicide. Macarena Gómez’s acting keeps you guessing whether she is the victim of a small-minded town or if she rationalizes or ignores aspects of the truth. Still, losing a child to suicide due to bullying would make any parent seesaw between pain and hate. Through Macarena’s acting, María seesaws between despair and rage, and her laugh is as devilish as Lucía’s.
Small Towns Breed…
The lullaby/prophecy hinges on trauma created by people. People being awful and people grieving is what paves the way for the prophecy. That is the issue with Everyone Will Burn because instead of walking a path of decency, people harm others, then fret when their actions have far-reaching consequences. The solution is never atonement but more harm for people like that. It is frustrating to watch awful people avoid judgment. Still, that is not the case with Everyone Will Burn.
This town also murdered a baby for that same prophecy decades ago. It is unclear how much of what happened prior is the devil’s work and how much the townfolks’ actions paved the way for the devil. As María’s past unfolds and you see how the townspeople smile on her face or give her the cold shoulder, you think, “to hell with this town.” Literally. Everything is hearsay in the town, so what happened depends on who you believe. But this town is far from innocent or kind.
Not Terrifying, But Enjoyable
There are a handful of scares, but the film does not make you jump in your seat. It is about unraveling the mystery of the past to glean the present. Everyone Will Burn keeps you watching because you want to see who dies. By the end, the film’s characters, like life itself, may have no good, but varying degrees of evil. I said “damnnnn” more than a few times as more drama unfolded. Everyone Will Burn is an entertaining soap opera meets antichrist film, and though the title is misleading, you pray for the town’s destruction.