Our film is set at a gas station which is open 24/7. Working on the evening shift are two young girls, Melinda (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) & Sheila (Suki Waterhouse). Melinda is generally a quiet and shy person who has been dealing with several personal matters. As a person, she generally seems to be quite nervous, emotional, and sometimes unsettled. Sheila, on the other hand, is the opposite of Melinda. She is hugely blunt and has a much more outgoing personality.
While the two are on duty, a stranger named Billy (played by Josh Hutcherson) enters the gas station during the night, holds the two at gunpoint and demands cash in desperation. Given the current life that surrounds Melinda, she finds herself able to make a connection with the robber and begins to have hopes that maybe the two could be something more together. Naturally, Billy soon finds out that robbing this gas station will not be as easy as he hoped.
Melinda might seem emotional, but she is also at a significant breaking point in her life and begins to make bold choices during the attempted robbery that will affect many people around her throughout the night. Usually, Melinda would be more considerate towards others but she has continually been pushed around by her co-worker, Sheila. Now with the robber also rejecting her, something triggers inside her and she ultimately becomes someone who should not be messed with.
Burn is best classed as a dark comedy, and the type of humour within this film will be for specific movie lovers. The film is set in one central location and carries only a small group of actors. The concept is quite positive, and although the plot may seem familiar, thankfully, the film brings a few minor new elements such as Melinda. For the most part, the performances are pleasing.
Sadly, when it comes to all onscreen characters, they either come across as cliche or unlikable. Unfortunately, this also includes the film’s leading characters. Melinda is someone I can feel sorry for, but it is not long until the character makes some extremely uncomfortable choices, ultimately making it hard for me to enjoy the film as much as I hoped. Outcomes are also predictable. The film’s opening reveals far too much detail about the finale, which took away any mystery. Actor Josh Hutchinson is ok here, but his talent certainly feels wasted. The film also introduces a moment that involves themes of rape. Luckily, this moment does not contain large amounts of nudity, but I found this scene unnecessary to the key plot or character development and disturbing to watch.
Overall, Burn is a dark comedy in the style of a B Grade film. While I cannot deny performances are well delivered, the characters on screen are either written to be cliché, familiar or, worse, unlikeable. The film sets up a pleasing concept and plot, but it is far too predictable, and the film struggles to deliver any real suspense or mystery to the big screen. Actor Josh Hutcherson is sadly wasted. In the end, I was left disappointed based on the cast and the film’s premise. Burn (2019) is Now Available on DVD!