Brightburn is directed by David Yarovesky produced by James Gunn and is an unofficial “Superman origin story” but with a horror twist. In a small Kansas farm-town, wife and husband Tori and Kyle Breyer (played by Elizabeth Banks and David Denman) are trying to have a kid, when a small spacecraft crash lands near them carrying a baby. As the child, named Brandon (played by Jackson A. Dunn) grows up he soon realizes where he came from, and as his powers grow so does Brandons thirst for revenge takes over in this unofficial else-world story that while delivering on what the trailer promises, doesn’t do much to expand on either the superhero or the horror genre.
Firstly, I really enjoyed the concept this film presents in an evil Superman, and with an “R” rating, they make some good use of the Superman tropes you’ve seen, but with the realistic violence and gore that would actually happen if a boy with lasers coming from his eyes could do to someone. The gore and violence doesn’t bombard the film, but does leave some pretty horrific imagery that is sure to satisfy the horror fans.
Also the acting from all of the main characters was very good, I believed the actor playing Brandon and he really was able to naturally turn to just an evil remorseless kid that ALSO has these superpowers really well for me.
Where the film kind of plateaus for me is after they’ve introduced the story and you get into the horror beats, it all seems very repetitive. The setups to the scares are used so often that they lost all suspense for me. For a film that has such a unique concept, you would expect them to really play with that idea but it feels more like they just wanted to tell a pretty simple by the books horror story, and decided “hey, superheros are hot, lets plug one in” but just used all the work from Superman to build their own Superhero. Shoot, even the marketing uses the same exact font style as ‘Man of Steel’.
Overall if you saw the trailers for ‘Brightburn’ and liked what you saw, you are going to have a great time in the theaters watching this, for me it was a little bit of a letdown just because of the direction both the horror genre and the superhero genre are evolving, this seems to be a by the numbers film.
I’m giving ‘Brightburn’ a 6.5/10