The Burning ★★★

Sticks pretty rigidly to the teen slasher template, but the energetic direction, a reasonably above-par cast and some cheerfully unrestrained gore effects from Tom Savini raise it to the top of the genre pile. It loses steam towards the end and could perhaps use one or two more murders to sustain interest, but for the most part The Burning is a fun ride that doesn't outstay its welcome. A young Jason Alexander in full Costanza mode is a massive plus.