Most villains on earth are those who believe that they are the good guys. She Who Must Burn proves that in spades when a local preacher wages war against a woman’s counselor for Planned Parenthood (not called that during the film, but that is the best way to describe it). This is another welcomed addition to the 31 Nights of Terror, again featuring human evil rather than supernatural evil, which in my opinion makes it even more terrifying, because it could easily go from a fiction to reality.
In a mining town plagued by stillborn children and cancer, Angela is a women’s counselor for a local clinic. In wake of the murder of two doctors at the clinic she works at by a religious fanatic, the state decides to stop funding for the facility. Angela decides to remain in the town in spite of the decision, in order to help those in need. She is met with contempt from many of the townsfolk who view her profession as a sin and want to drive her out of town.
Matters worsen for her after aiding the abused wife of the local preacher, helping her to escape his grasp. Determined to find his wife and angered by Angela’s interference, the preacher rallies the townspeople against her and confronts her in her own home. Not even the assistance of her police officer boyfriend may be enough to save her from their wrath.
As previously stated, the scary truth about the plot of this movie is that it could easily happen in the real world. In fact, I’m sure it already has. We all read the paper and have seen the controversy surrounding abortion, especially in regard to how religion feels about the act. Now we get to see how the issue plays out on our television screens. The ability is why this movie is so successful in its delivery in my opinion. Not to mention that it does not shy away from getting right to the hurt of the matter, clearly shown during a particularly graphic birthing scene. Trust me, that scene alone was enough to get it on the 31 Nights of Terror.
Additionally, it is the cast commitment to their characters. They perfectly captured the essence of being salt-of-the-earth people who are merely standing up for what they believe is right. It is easy to see both sides of the issue. Under the guise of Angela, Sarah Smyth is not a character easily hated. She is warm and understanding, as well as willing to go toe-to-toe with the townspeople as they chuck fire and brimstone at her, not to mention eggs (literally). A little harder to side with is Shane Twerdun’s Jeremiah Baarker, who is clearly the villain of the story. Believing that God is on his side, the preacher pushes the envelope as he incites his flock to his cause against Angela, all the while merely seeking the return of his wife. Watching his descent into darkness is likely to cause a chill to run up your spine.
I recommend this film to those with a strong stomach who aren’t afraid of stories that can easily be true. Consider this a disclaimer: things in this movie can be graphic and very realistic at times; please prepare yourself for viewing this movie. Now that disclaimer is only meant to serve as a warning, not a deterrent, because this story is absolutely worth watching.