As mentioned on Friday, this weekend has seen three big movies hit UK cinema screens. I discussed my thoughts on one of these releases (Toy Story 4) yesterday, and today is the turn of movie No.2 – Brightburn!
For those who are unfamiliar with Brightburn, the film is a dark tale about a boy with super powers. Directed by David Yarovesky, Brightburn stars Jackson A. Dunn, Elizabeth Banks and David Denman and poses the question – in a non-copyright infringing way – what if Superman were evil?
Now it must be made clear that Brightburn is NOT a story about Superman and is NOT produced by Warner Bros. and/or DC Entertainment. However, this IS a story that features an alien orphan who grew up on a farm, and who develops super powers – sound familiar?
Brightburn is essentially the Smallville scenes from Superman: The Movie, only extended into a feature length story and played out as a horror. A freakin’ awesome horror.
There are scenes in the movie that creeped me out and I’m not easily creeped out. I believe this is largely to do with Dunn, who is fantastic in the role of super powered little shit, Brandon Bryers.
Dunn walks a fine line between irritating brat and super freak, yet he never falters, creating a menacing presence throughout the film. It’s safe to say a new horror icon is born in Brightburn and I can honestly envision fans of this movie getting to work on Halloween costumes and cosplay outfits based on Bryers.
But Dunn isn’t the only star of this movie, Banks and Denman put in great performances as
Ma and Pa Kent Mr and Mrs Bryers – two loving parents, clearly out of their depths. Banks in particular proves as reliable as ever, as the dearly devoted mother who slowly has to come to the realisation she has adopted a cuckoo.
But before the film gets to any of that there are deaths, frightening jump scares and plenty of blood. While this film might border on comic book fare, this is very much a horror film through and through and not for the squeamish.
The only downside of Brightburn is the fact that the story is pretty much told in the trailer. Sure, there are a few things here or there that deepen the narrative, but if you watch the trailer then you’ve got the gist of the story.
It also should be noted that this is not an entirely original concept. Comic book fans are more than familiar with the ‘Superman is evil’ storyline, and at times the movie does feel like it has shades of Chronicle about it too.
BUT DON’T LET THIS PUT YOU OFF, if you’re reading this post and have the slightest interest in watching Brightburn then give it a go – it is a great, low budget movie. From start to finish, this film knows the story it wants to tell and does it very well.
As someone who loves comic book movies and horror films, I found this film to be the perfect mix and it’s definitely one I want to see more of. Without giving anything away, the movie leaves room for more stories set within this world and I genuinely hope that is the case.
I’d love to see Brightburn continued in a sequel or a spin-off – there is a lot of potential here. Heck, turn this property into a comic book – a really dark, twisted horror comic and set me up a subscription!