Film review: Brightburn

Having been desperately trying for a baby, Tori and Kyle Breyer (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman) hear a loud crash and discover a child (Jackson A Dunn) in the wreckage of an alien spacecraft, feeling blessed they decide to raise the child as their own but that’s a decision they may end up regretting!

A grisly re-imagining of Superman, if Superman was a very naughty boy, Brightburn is a film that isn’t afraid to wear its influences on its sleeve, even down to the young “hero” being found in a crashed spaceship and dressing in a red cloak. It’s a fun subversion to the genre and the premise certainly has a lot of potential to be taken in an interesting direction.

Those expecting any deep revelations or genre changing moments probably need to look elsewhere though, Brightburn takes the horror baton firmly in its hand and runs with it. Some have argued that taking the film in this direction is a touch on the lazy side and those criticisms are fair, however fans of OTT gore and exploitation will find a lot to like here. The gratuitous effects look great and the second half is an enjoyable horror romp that takes no prisoners with its bleak tone and savage killings.

In fact those expecting anything else probably aren’t that familiar with the earlier work of producer James Gunn, whose brothers have writing credit here. This feels very much like a film he would have directed himself had he not had such success with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and certainly fits in well with the darkly comic tone of his earlier work.

Its not all plain sailing though, there is certainly an over reliance on jump scares throughout and this comes at the expense of any sustained atmosphere, meaning that although Brightburn will have you cringing in places it never manages to develop any full on scares. This is a shame as Jackson A Dunn’s performance as the titular character is a very chilling one and belongs in a more atmospheric film.

Brightburn then is definitely not a film for everyone but if you head in knowing what to expect and have a stomach for some grisly gore then you may end up having a lot of fun with it.





Author: Paul, Bath store