Burn the House Down

Burn the House Down

TV-14

netflix

Jealousy fans the flames of revenge in this domestic thriller

7.1

TV Show

Japan
Japanese
Drama, Mystery
2023
Asuka Kudo, Kie Kitano, Kyoka Suzuki

TLDR

People that burn down your house and people that plan their revenge after 13 years are the ones to be scared of.

What it's about

A young woman goes undercover as a housekeeper to investigate her stepmother after her family's home burned down in a mysterious fire.

The take

Not fully a mystery and not entirely a thriller, yet on the cusp of both, the initial setup of Burn the House Down promises a definite answer and dismantles it in every episode. Sure that her mother was framed, Anzu infiltrates Makiko's new lavish life to prove that the fire set to her home thirteen years ago was no accident. She knows the culprit but lacks evidence, but when she's reacquainted with Makiko's eldest son, his reclusive demeanour takes a sinister turn. The premise is straightforward, yet it's hard to look away from Anzu skulking around as she finds remnants of her mother's old life and sweet-talking the family that destroyed hers. Trying to piece together that fateful night isn't simple but feels worth the unexpected detours three episodes in. 

What stands out

Mei Nagano (as Anzu) shines in her vengeful portrayal, switching between sweet and resentful effortlessly. After meeting Kiichi again after thirteen years, Anzu's determination never falters, even as happier memories flood in. At twenty-three Mei's presence on screen is memorable as a cold, calculating (albeit for sympathetic and selfless reasons) daughter looking out for her family and the truth. But you discover she's been acting since she was ten, it all makes sense.

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