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On Fire

Over the past few years there has been an increase in wildfires across the globe, and with the earth warming they are seemingly still to become more frequent. These fires cause devastating damage not only to the land but the people and their livelihoods. On Fire depicts this exact devastation on one family and the people around them, effectively showing just how horrifying these wildfires can be. However, the lack of depth to the script and the predictability of the story meant On Fire falls short when attempting to make an emotional impact.


A man finds his world suddenly torn apart as devastating wildfires rip through the surrounding countryside. With precious moments ticking away, he flees with his son and pregnant wife to survive the raging force of Mother Nature.


When thinking about this subject matter incorporated in film, my mind goes back to an underseen film called Only the Brave (2017). That film focussed on a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire. On Fire may differ with the focus of the film, but the one thing that does align is the emphasis on the danger. The film moves at a break-neck pace, showing the true nature of a force that cannot be stopped. You feel the desperation of each character from the family to the 911 first responders, but this is mostly down to the depiction of the spread of this unstoppable threat.

On Fire

The fire rages through the forest, leading this family into situations they couldn't even imagine. However, there are many moments of predictability along this escape, added for a dramatic effect and they're all a bit too cliché (breaking of ankle, broken down car, pregnant wife). Each and every one piled on top of each other, making this a little repetitive when realistically the only threat you need is the flames chasing you down.

Co-directed by and starring Peter Facenelli (Twilight), Fiona Dourif (Chucky) and Asher Angel (Shazam!), these three make up the core of the family. It felt as though they weren't given much to work with and at times the script was quite testing. There was a wooden feel to some of the delivery with the chemistry not quite aligning to make this family feel connected. This led to a downturn in the emotional impact the film could've produced had these characters felt a little more real.

On Fire had the heart racing while the flames were unforgivingly bearing down upon this family, but unfortunately the parts in-between dampened the emotional core that this film required to really thrive.


Rating On Fire



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