Brightburn: Superhero Subversion a Bloody Good Time

3.4 out of 5 stars (slightly above average)

Brightburn Poster
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Brightburn is Not a Superhero movie.  It may be about a young boy who crash-lands on Earth from an alien spaceship to two well-meaning farmers, but this kid is no Superman.  He’s a ruthless killer with superhuman abilities.  Brightburn is a fun, bloody horror spin on the superhero origin movie that compensates for a lack of character development with solid tension and memorably gory kills.

Tori and Kyle Breyer (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman), are unable to conceive a child.  One night a spaceship crashes in their backyard, containing a baby boy.  They “adopt” him, naming him Brandon and hiding his alien lineage.  10 years later, Brandon (a well-cast Jackson A. Dunn) is a seemingly well-adjusted young man, until he discovers he possesses superhuman abilities.  However, rather than using these powers for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, Brandon decides to take revenge on those who have hurt him and conquer the world.  Now his parents must try to stop their son before it’s too late, leaving a bloody trail of death in his wake.

Brightburn’s biggest problem is a lack of character development.  I don’t know anything about the Breyers besides they’re well-meaning parents, and Brandon’s transition from cute to killer is slightly rushed but believable by the films’ logic.  However, the film makes us like Brandon before this, helped more by Dunn’s acting.  The gore effects are top-notch and the direction builds solid tension, exploding in a climax of controlled chaos.  Would I have liked more character development?  Absolutely.  However, as a horror movie, Brightburn is a fun, unexpectedly gory time that shows us a darker alternative to typical superhero tales.  See Brightburn.

Rated R for Horror Violence/Bloody Images, And Language.

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