Once upon a time, I saw a good movie. That movie was not, as it happens, The Burning.
First of all, the villain's name is Cropsy. I swear, Cropsy. If you sit up late at night fearing the terrible wrath of Cropsy, well, I don't even know what to say.
That said, he's oddly one of the most sympathetic characters in the movie, which says less about how rounded he is and more to how goofy the others are. Jason Alexander and Fisher Stevens are both charming and amusing, but once the movie is going, terribly underutilized. The lead, Brian Matthews, who desperately aspires to the awesomeness of Grant Goodeve, inspires little to connect with, especially once the "surprise" revelation comes late in the movie. The much advertised Holly Hunter appearance is frankly not worth mentioning, as I didn't even notice her read an actual line, although I assume she does.
Mind you, after an overly long set-up - always a good idea in principle, but when dialogue is the the weakest point of your script, ultimately a mistake - it catches a little excitment in the scenes involving the brutal deaths of various campers. In fact, they almost seem to be directed by another director, perhaps that's Tom Savini and his famous influence over how his effects are shot.
The movie will continue to be a curio. It's the first Miramax movie, a slasher movie co-written by the Weinsteins, etc.
And it is fun to slip into a deep voice and say "Filmed in glorious Cropsy-Vision!" every time the foggy lensed killer POV shots.
It's not very suspensefully paced, however, and the characters are far too thinly drawn and poorly written to justify calling it anything but an average movie of its sort, and even with that bar being as low as it is, that may be a bit kind.