An ambitious, painfully claustrophobic thriller a la “Cul de Sac,” writer-director Miguel Angel Sanchez’s debut “Burn With Me” is let down by its ungainly script, a surfeit of thematic and visual cliche and a well-intentioned but lackluster central perf. At times genuinely disturbing, despite the bargain-basement psychology it’s based on, pic has generated muted home B.O.
Adult-education teacher Laura (looker Cristina Silva) sees her rebellious, street-smart student Israel (newcomer Daniel Cabello) being beaten up and takes him home to her creepy mansion, where she lives with her tyrannical, wheelchair-bound grandmother, Irene (Julieta Serrano), and businessman grandfather, Luis (charismatic Manuel de Blas). Gradually, it emerges that the orphaned Laura is using Daniel to take revenge on the oldies for some morally dubious behavior toward her. Though the sex between the youngsters is highly charged, and vets Serrano and de Blas turn in solid perfs, Silva’s attempts to play traumatized end up looking merely deadheaded. Lensing depends too much on mote-flecked light coming through windows.