The Blazing World is a 2021 American film about a young woman haunted by the memory of watching her sister drown when they were children.
Directed by Carlson Young from a screenplay co-written with Pierce Brown, based on Young’s 2018 short of the same name, the movie stars Udo Kier, Carlson Young, Dermot Mulroney and Vinessa Shaw. Produced by Brinton Bryan, Milan Chakraborty and Bryn Mooser.
“It gets a bit high on David Lynch’s own singular supply and seems unpredictably strange for the sake of being strange […] The Blazing World is a full-bore fever dream that’s entirely all metaphysical mood and quixotic imagination. Maybe the style is the substance here, but one still wishes it gave more to chew on and feel.” The Artful Critic
“Young displays an insane aptitude for visual direction. As wild and fantastical as The Blazing World is, it’s undermined by weak storytelling. Still, it’s rare to get a film that commits so fully to such symbolism and metaphors in such an imaginative way. The filmmaker’s debut is bold, ambitious, and confident, and refuses to adhere to commercial conformity.” Bloody Disgusting
“Blazing World feels very authentic to whatever vision Carlson Young had in mind for this hazy traumatic fever dream. The debate now becomes whether this shadowy dream needed the feature-length treatment – to which the answer is no.” Escape into Film
” …The Blazing World is a remarkable achievement for Young’s first time at the helm of a feature-length film. She blends fantasy, horror, and science fiction elements together into a work that may drift here and there, but is always entertaining and artistic.” Horror Fuel
” …The Blazing World is a hallucinatory fantasy that plays like Alice in Wonderland meets Dante’s Inferno […] The overdone vibe of it all at times belies the underlying message, but the Hellish pain which Young portrays and the heartache of the film is still all too clear, and it’s a pain that resonates in everything.” Killer Horror Critic
“Nobody minds being challenged by what they see on screen but when it’s this obtuse it starts to become far too much like hard work […] Visually, there’s just about enough to keep hold of your curiosity, but the strangely stilted acting and the web of confusion spun throughout the narrative will have you scratching your head.” The People’s Movies
” …an over-stylized, under-baked bit of tomfoolery from writer-director-star Carlson Young never manages to engross the viewer even as it continues to throw out fantastical scenarios left and right. It’s a draining mishmash of Intro to Psych lectures mixed with dream journal excerpts swirled together with some not-so-subtle Pan’s Labyrinth rip-offs.” /Film
“Young is serviceable but I wonder if someone else might have been able to get deeper into the character […] As a director, Young makes a lot of over-the-top choices in staging, but I love the visual world-building in this film, and the use of music. She has a strong eye for visual imagination and an understanding of how she wants to use music.” Sonic Cinema
The Blazing World had its world premiere at the Sundance festival in 2021.
In the US, Vertical Entertainment will release The Blazing World theatrically in select locations and On-Demand on October 15th, 2021.
Cast and characters (alphabetical):
Ace Anderson … Sean
Sophia Bernard … Beth
Laurel Day … Baby Margaret
Josie Fink … Young Margaret Winter
Lillie Fink … Young Elizabeth Winter
Breckyn Hager … Rob
John Karna … Blake
Udo Kier … Lained
Robert H. Lambert … Greasy Man
Bailey Lewis … Coffee Shop Guy
Liz Mikel … Doctor Cruz
Dermot Mulroney … Tom Winter
Vinessa Shaw … Alice Winter
Soko … Margot
Carlson Young … Margaret Winter
‘A Fire Inside’ Clip:
‘What are you?’ Clip: