Burn is my first look at the talents of film-maker Judson Vaughan. The UK director has created several short films, but his most noteworthy is 2015’s Soul Breaker, which was the recipient of an impressive 14 awards while playing in the film festival circuit. Burn is starting to make the rounds and other reviewers are giving this one a stamp of approval. And I think I know why. Producing a short film is a tough job because you have to provide the audience with a full story, from beginning to climax, often in under twenty minutes. It’s an ability that any film-maker can possess, but not many can master. With Judson’s Burn, you get a full cinematic experience that takes you through happy times and creepy times to a sinister ending that’ll have you sick.
What I’ll remember most about Burn is that it gets more twisted and demented as time goes on. When this short film starts, viewers are treated to childhood videos, beautiful locations, a peaceful look into a budding family’s new life and a long monologue from a father to his future child. From there, things deteriorate pretty quickly and that calming feeling that you started this with will be replaced by aggression and an uncomfortable feeling of suspicion. Finally the madness hits, in all its bloody glory, and I guarantee you – you won’t see it coming… any of it! Normally the destruction of a family is frowned upon, but in this case the destruction happens to build something much worse in its place.
Burn is written, directed and produced by Judson Vaughan with co-writer and executive producer Chris Barnes. It features cinematography from Joaquim Barretto and stars Max Cavenham, Emma Kelly, Matti Kolirin, Ines Marcelo Curto, Julius Rost, Sadie-Jane Scott and Vaughan. It’s bizarre, frightening, and puzzling and yet it also has a loving and alluring side to it. You just have to watch it and see. Plus, any short film that features chainsaw torture in 2017 gets my support. I don’t know if I was as particularly moved as other reviewers, but Burn is effective and expertly produced. Solid all around. Final Score: 7 out of 10.