Christmas, 1995. Two strangers become trapped in an escalating nightmare when they are forced to follow instructions from a series of red envelopes. To escape, they must confront past demons – but they soon discover their secrets are closely connected.



Burn on Arrival is a dark fairy tale, set in the wake of the industrial devastation that gripped Scotland in the mid-90s. The closure of Ravenscraig steelworks, which provides the backdrop to the film, has been described as a ‘national trauma’, and trauma is at the heart of what I wanted to deal with in Burn on Arrival.

Central to the film is the idea that if you don’t face up to past demons, they will destroy you. We live in a world where the crimes of the past are coming back to haunt us all.  The more they have been ignored, the more explosively they return – affecting every part of our present.

In the film, the past looms like an almost godlike presence. It shapes Billy and Sarah’s every action, as they too become imprisoned by forces wildly beyond their control.  The more they try to escape, the more trapped they become. And though in desperation, they may ultimately do terrible things, I never intended to portray either character as villain or victim. Instead they are simply two people dealing with the fallout in the only way they know how.

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