IN THE FIRE (2023) Reviews of Amber Heard ‘possession’ pic

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In the Fire is a 2023 thriller film in which a doctor tries to treat a disturbed boy who is suspected of being possessed by the Devil.

Directed and co-executive-produced by Conor Allyn from a screenplay written with co-producer Pascal Borno and co-producer Silvio Muraglia. Also produced by Monika Bacardi, Alain Gillissen and Andrea Iervolino.

The American-Italian Angel Oak Films-Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment-Margate House Films co-production stars Amber Heard, Eduardo Noriega, Lorenzo McGovern Zaini, Sophie Amber, Luca Calvani and Yari Gugliucci.


In the 1890s, Grace Burnham (Amber Heard), a doctor from New York, travels to a remote plantation to care for a disturbed boy who seems to have inexplicable abilities. She begins treating the child, but in doing so ignites a war of science versus religion with the local priest who believes the boy is possessed by the Devil and is the reason for all the village’s woes…


“Obvious developments take forever to occur, and multiple scenes drag on long after we’ve gotten the point. One-dimensional characters exacerbate the thin nature of the plot. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more somnambulant film about a child who is possibly possessed by the devil. This isn’t entertainment, it’s an endurance test.” ★ The Aisle Seat

“One could probably make an entire film out of Grace’s lack of decorum, adding to accusations of unprofessionalism, bringing wild complication to her experience in Spain. But the production doesn’t go there, merely using the heat to inspire some bedroom grinding before the story moves on, never returning to the lustful union. It’s a strange creative choice and one that brings In the Fire to a halt when it comes to dramatic potential.” ★★½

“Often relegated to femme fatales, Heard seizes the opportunity to showcase her talent and carry the film across the finish line. In the Fire bandies back-and-forth between science and religious doctrine, and ultimately delivers an engrossing thriller which contains some of Amber Heard’s best work.” 6.5 out of 10,  The Hollywood Outsider

“Allyn opens what could’ve been a fascinating conversation about science and religion, but doesn’t delve any further than its premise […] In the Fire isn’t particularly remarkable and may have benefited from a more profound exploration of its themes, but Allyn delivers a subtle exercise in horror, led sturdily by Heard.” ★★★ Loud and Clear

” …the movie takes its time to explore and examine this divide between hard logic and twisted faith. The results are decidedly mixed, partially because the script is in such a rush to make its point and breezes through any serious consideration of Martin and his condition, but the filmmakers’ hearts and minds seem to be in the right place. The same goes for Heard, whose performance is mainly hampered by some of the clunkier bits of dialogue…” 2 out of 4, Mark Reviews Movies

“The big problem with In the Fire  is that the more it goes on the more the boredom grows, the lack of curiosity to understand what will happen, also because what happens ultimately turns out to be banal, subdued.” L’occhio del cineasta [translated from Italian]

“Heard gives herself over to the role, the first time she’s had a lead all to herself in quite some time as she fights to rebound from years of bad press. I’m not sure In the Fire is the movie that will be the start of a career renaissance for her, though. Its problems are many, such as stilted dialogue and predictable genre tropes, and there’s a general sense that this movie wouldn’t even exist if Heard had passed on it.” ★★ Punch Drunk Critics

In the US, Saban Films released In the Fire theatrically in select locations and on VOD on October 13, 2023.


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