Kyle (David Denman) and Tori (Elizabeth Banks) have desires to start a family until… Out of nowhere a small alien object (spacecraft) lands on their farm and is discovered outside by Kyle and Tori. Inside the unusual ship, they find a young boy who they decide to keep and raise as their very own (kind of like Superman right?). Fast forward to the present day, the little boy is now 12 years old and discovers he has dark abilities. If you thought the boy came here to save the world… you’re wrong. He’s here to do something far more sinister to it instead…
Without going any further into the plot, I will say up front that this film is extremely violent and gory. I would like to advise fans that this film should be R 18+ given the amount of gore and disturbing scenes that occur throughout.
As a plot, I was extremely thankful to have a film that I knew nothing about finally and isn’t a sequel (like John Wick 3 or Godzilla). Going into the cinema, all I knew was the film was produced by James Gunn (director of Guardians of the Galaxy). The director of Brightburn is David Yarovesky, making this his directorial debut film.
Brightburn is naturally creative, and the idea of this film is excellent. A Superman vibe with horror elements is something new and wild. Many moments become entertaining, particularly when the audience begins to discover there is more to this boy than what originally appeared.
The film is loaded with fun scares and zippy sounds effects. It is generally a dark film, and the camera work was mostly positive, except for at least three scenes in which I must say the filming was disgusting, with the camera waving from the top to bottom of the frame during massive critical moments in the film.
As far as actors go, I feel the performances are generally positive, but the characters themselves can be hit and miss as they never feel consistent. Watching these parents sometimes felt frustrating, particularly when they begin to discover their son has significant issues. Instead of calling in Mulder and Sully (ahem, X-Files), they try to fix it in their strength and not tell anyone anything.
As mentioned above, the film’s idea and concept is different, but it never delivered all I wanted it to. Instead, the film feels like it just plays it safe and instead becomes a basic plot with gore and horror elements. The same could be said about the ending. The ending felt old and reused with writers failing to end the film with the massive bang that audiences would have preferred. Instead, the ending just feels repeated.
Overall, Brightburn brings a familiar story but adds a nifty dark twist to the plot. From this, the film generally stays in the safe zone and never really expands on plot details. The film’s endings also felt weak and somewhat lazy. I would have preferred more plot, more information and less insanely over the top gore. I also suggest the film should be R18+ given the tense and horrifying scenes.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden