Movies

Brightburn review: A smart, grizzly take on the Superman myth from Guardians Of The Galaxys James Gunn

Jackson A. Dunn in Brightburn

Jackson A. Dunn in Brightburn (Image: Sony Pictures/Screen Gems)

Most people reading this will be at least partly familiar with the Superman origin story – a boy from an alien world crashes into a farm in Kansas, is taken in by Ma and Pa Kent, and becomes Earths protector. But what if, instead of a big blue superhero, he became evil?

Thats the dark premise of Brightburn, produced by Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn.

Elizabeth Banks and David Denman play Tori and Kyle, a couple from the rural town of Brightburn, Kansas. Their dreams of becoming parents seem to be answered when a baby lands inside an alien craft in the barn of their farm, whom they adopt and call Brandon (Jackson A Dunn).

However, when Brandon turns twelve, he begins exhibiting strange abilities that lead to a horrifying secret.

Stripped down and free of any of the usual effects-riddled flourishes that come with a superhero movie, the grittiness of the film adds to the promise of its set-up. The more that is revealed about Brandon, the more the anticipation builds.

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Settling for a slow-building creepiness rather than cheap jump scares, there are bursts of gruesome violence that remind you we are firmly in the horror genre.

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Sadly, its that faithfulness to horror conventions that lets the final act of the film down.

There was a potential to go to very interesting places with Brandons character, and turn the superhero genre on its head. While it does ask some very interesting questions early on, the story instead settles for a standard creepy kid finale. Think The Omen with heat vision.

Elizabeth Banks in Brightburn

Elizabeth Banks is excellent as Brandons conflicted mother (Image: Sony Pictures/ Screen Gems)

While the ending is slightly underwhelming, the journey is much more fun. There are moments of dark humour in the script, such as Tori and Kyles assumption that Brandons behaviour could be the first throws of puberty, resulting in a hilariously awkward birds and bees talk.

Banks, a talented star who rarely gets the spotlight she deserves, makes Tori into much more than a scream queen – the battle between her motherly instincts and the terror of whats happening to Brandon is the most interesting arc in the film.

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After such an exquisite set up, Brightburns execution is a little bit disappointing, becoming a rather straightforward supernatural horror instead of delving deeper into superhero lore.

However, its smart enoughRead More – Source

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