2020 Cinequest Film Festival review: ‘Before The Fire’ is a dire warning.

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Synopsis:  As a global pandemic engulfs Los Angeles, rising TV star Ava Boone is forced to flee the mounting chaos and return to her rural hometown. As she struggles to acclimate to a way of life she left behind long ago, her homecoming attracts a dangerous figure from her past- threatening both her and the family that serves as her only sanctuary.

Nothing is more terrifying than a film that closely mirrors the current state of the world. Before The Fire hits a little too close to home at the moment. As a resident of New York City, COVID-19 is beginning to get seriously scary. What is your contingency plan if/when a pandemic comes to fruition? Charlie Buhler‘s directorial debut has given the world a not so far fetched scenario and we should all be afraid.

Star Jenna Lyng Adams (who also wrote and produced!) is captivating. Her roller coaster of emotions is one hell of a ride. The complexity she exudes is genuinely impressive. Her chemistry with both Ryan Vigilant and Dakota Morrissiey is perfection. You are with them the entire way. This script is nothing short of thrilling. This is a true fight or flight situation. These characters make choices based on self-preservation and love. It’s fascinating to see when and where the survival shifts occur.

This film is not simply about a virus, although there is nothing simple about that. Before The Fire is about trauma, family dynamics, fear, betrayal, and power. It will pull you in from the very first moments and not let up until the credits. It’s like watching a pot boil over and you cannot reach the burner. It feels too real. Cinequest audiences are lucky to be seeing this film’s premiere. I highly recommend you grab a ticket for the remaining screenings.

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