Cropsey was a man seriously burned in a terrible prank gone wrong. Five years have passed and now he is back for revenge while murdering the young teens of a summer camp. I wish my summers were this much fun!
The Burning is a movie I saw back when I was 12 or 13 years old. I didn’t remember much, other than the classic raft scene (more on that later), but I remembered loving the film. Now at 23, I get to relive this film on glorious Blu-Ray and I’m glad I did…because it holds up! Yes, the plot is unoriginal and I have to mention the film is a bit of a Friday the 13th rip off. We all know it, but that doesn’t mean the movie is bad. In fact the movie is easily as good as most of the sequels! And to be honest, in a slasher film I don’t look for originality. All the classic ingredients were there: the woods setting, an unstoppable killer, ample gore and nudity, and even the scary legend around the camp fire!
I look for a good scary time and this movie gave me just that…and with ample gore in tow. Tom Savini’s gore effects help make the movie a classic, as it not only adds to the fun, but it also adds to the brutality. Cropsey is NOT one to mess around. This film has some of the best and most inventive death scenes, including a raft scene that is now a classic. After re-watching that scene at an older age, I was truly able to understand the art in this scene and the director deserves a big thank you. He really shot this film well and in some scenes it felt almost like an art film. It looked beautiful and I have to say that even though a majority of the film took place in the day, it still worked. Many scenes took place in the woods or in darkened cabins, with bits of sunlight peaking through and it added to the creep factor.
And I have to say that the film is high on suspense! I found myself on the edge of my seat many times, and I loved it and not only that but every single jump scare got me as well! One thing I notice is that jump scares don’t usually work on me when I’m at home (only in the movie theatre), but this film had some brilliant jumps. Now the characters aren’t well developed, but they didn’t annoy me and I actually had fun with many of them. I rooted for the leads and I actually found myself caring about even a couple of them. My favourite would definitely be the lead male Todd. The actor, Brian Matthews, was fantastic and really made me care about the role and in the end I was honestly rooting for him to get away and to stop Cropsey. It also helped that he was incredibly gorgeous and I was crushing on him the entire film. Honestly the entire cast did well with their roles. The film even switched things around with having a final boy instead. Yes, there is a lead female, but she isn’t the hero. Todd is the hero who goes after the killer, and another male character gets the big ending chase scene in the climax. Props for switching things up, and the film has a BRILLIANT climax that really had me on the edge of my seat.
The editing was top notch and the film was never boring…and I must own that music score! It was fantastic and there is nothing like a good 80’s slasher film score. They were simply the best. Now the film did have some flaws as well. The Burning did take a bit too long to get going. I mean I was never bored because I was having fun with the characters, but if you’re going to take that long to get to the meat of the film, I’d rather seem some character development. I wish more of the lead characters were killed, but I’m just being greedy for more of the fantastic gore, and it has always bothered me that lead girl, Michelle, didn’t get much to do other than look hot. The actress was fine and she was definitely beautiful, but she wasn’t given much to do. I would have liked to have seen her do more in the climax (maybe even at least come face-to-face with Cropsey, which she never does…bummer), but you know what, she wasn’t the hero, so what can you do?
In the end, The Burning is a fantastic addition to the slasher subgenre (aka my favourite kind of movie). It didn’t bring anything new, and I don’t care. It was a fuckin’ good time with high gore and high suspense. Brian Matthews made for a crush-worthy man (and I appreciated his many shirtless scenes). It’s a shame there was never a The Burning Part II, because Cropsey could definitely have had his own franchise.