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The Independent Critic

Macarena Gomez, Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Milan, Sofia Garcia
David Hebrero
David Hebrero, Javier Kiran
Rated R
125 Mins.
Drafthouse Films

 Movie Review: Everyone Will Burn 
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With a pitch perfect opening and a mesmerizing ending, David Hebrero's Everyone Will Burn is a relentless tale that immerses us in intense grief, religious mania, and the blurred lines between good and evil. 

Macarena Gomez is Maria, whom we meet as she's preparing to step off a ledge to end the years-long pain over the self-inflicted death of her son, Lolo, after years of bullying for his physical differences. On the way to her own demise, she encounters newcomer Sofia Garcia's Lucia, a mysterious and mischievous young girl who quickly lays claim to Maria's long dormant maternal instincts. How this all happens is truly pitch perfect, a mastery of disciplined filmmaking with just a dusting of shock value sprinkled throughout. 

Gomez's Maria is an exhausting character, though Gomez portrays her sublimely with a nearly constant grief-fueled rage whose tragic circumstances have defined her life and her existence in this contemporary town in Spain equally defined by a years-long apocalyptic prophecy that has helped turn peaceful village life into something darker and potentially sinister. It is, unsurprisingly, Lucia's arrival with her sadistic ways and otherworldly aura that will put into motion the events that unfold in this film Hebrero co-wrote alongside Javier Kiran. 

The supporting characters are all essential here, Rodolfo Sancho's David being Maria's ex-husband who tired of her grief and abandoned her to experience it alone. German Torres is jarring as Padre Abelino and Ana Milan disturbs as Tere, whose role here is best left undescribed for full impact.

There are others, of course. 

Hebrero is a longtime cinematographer and it shows here, though he shares those duties with Ona Isart. Joan Vila's original music unsettles while immersing us in waves of grief and emotion seemingly decades in the making. The real mastery here is that Hebrero manages to bring to life characters that feel real amidst a story that springs from larger than life spirituality, religion gone amok, and a dark fairytale of sorts. 

Along the way, Everyone Will Burn occasionally stops and starts and pitches back and forth. Somehow, it never derails and we never become tired of these exhausting yet compelling characters. This may, ultimately, become one of those times in life when you root for those labeled evil because along the journey the layers of truth are peeled away. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic