Review: You Don’t Need X-Ray Vision To See Through BRIGHTBURN

FIRST IMPRESSION

Brightburn has a great premise and solid execution, but instead of being super, it feels super disappointing because it is predictable and often uninteresting.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Brightburn is a new horror film directed by David Yarovesky (The Hive) and produced by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy). The movie is about a boy who, shortly after his twelfth birthday, discovers that he was adopted by his family after crash landing on Earth in a mysterious spaceship, sending him into a violent rage.

The story of the film is undeniably intriguing, and an idea which many comic fans have explored in their minds. It isn’t uncommon for comics to present alternate realities in which the superheroes find themselves in different circumstances that result in them exhibiting different behaviors. For example, the DC mini-series Superman: Red Son has a story similar to this one and was widely acclaimed.

Unfortunately, the movie fails to do anything with that appealing premise. There is so much room for the film to have been more than what it is, such as actually having something to say, but instead, the movie feels straightforward and bland. Also extremely frustrating is the fact that what is basically the entirety of the film’s story (along with all of the most fun moments), were revealed in the trailers.

Additionally, the movie struggles to create characters that are particularly sympathetic. The film obviously wants the main character, Brandon, to feel like he is in a moral grey area, and doesn’t succeed in so doing. It is easy to see Brandon’s evil, but there isn’t enough done to make him compelling. We needed to see more good within him for him to have a compelling arc. Brandon’s parents, on the other hand, are mostly likable, but show very little growth until the very end of the movie.

Review: You Don't Need X-Ray Vision To See Through BRIGHTBURN 1
Mrs. Breyer (Elizabeth Banks) in Screen Gems’ BRIGHTBURN. Credit: Boris Martin. Courtesy Sony Pictures. © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

However, perhaps the single biggest issue with this film is that it can’t fully decide what it wants to be. The movie frequently attempts to go full horror, and these moments don’t work particularly well. Even the jump scares are ineffective for the most part, with only one being truly surprising and startling. The film is at its best when it tries to go for a more atmospheric thriller vibe, but those moments are few and far between.

That being said, although the script was disappointing, the execution was very impressive and almost makes it worth seeing the movie. The visuals are great, especially for a low-budget horror film. One or two CGI shots aren’t quite up to par, but there are a ton of cool visuals throughout. The scene in the diner (sadly shown by the trailers nearly in its entirety) is likely the best part of the movie, with a ton of creative cinematography.

The actors all do a solid job in the film too. Elizabeth Banks and David Denman have great chemistry together. Although their respective emotionally-driven moments are a bit over-the-top, they do fit their characters quite well. The child actor, Jackson A. Dunn, is great in his role. His ability to convey emotions with few lines was quite impressive.

Overall, Brightburn was a largely disappointing movie. Although it looks pretty great, the story is sorely lacking and fails to take advantage of its potential. General audiences will be bored and superhero fans will be better off waiting for Freaks to see a superhero horror film.

Brightburn is now playing in theaters.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

His Dark Materials: Season 1 Episode 3 Promo | HBO

Take a look ahead at His Dark Materials Season One Epsiode 3. New episodes air Mondaays at 9PM ET on HBO. Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HisDarkMater... Follow on Twitter: https://twitter/daemonsanddust #HBO #HisDarkMaterials Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 His Dark Materials stars Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy…

Maradona in Mexico | Official Trailer | Netflix

In this docuseries, soccer great Diego Maradona comes to Culiacán, the heart of the Sinaloa Cartel, to save the local team, the Dorados, and maybe himself, too. Watch Maradona in Mexico, only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81038144 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 158 million paid memberships in over 190…

Green Eggs and Ham’s Tiny Orchestra | Netflix

Green Eggs and Ham series composer David Newman spills a huge secret about Snerz's Tiny Orchestra. Green Eggs and Ham is streaming now on Netflix. Watch Green Eggs and Ham, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80057250 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190…

The Simpsons | Season 1 Ep. 7: Homer’s New Ride Highlight | FXX

Homer buys an old RV. Subscribe now for more The Simpsons clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX THE SIMPSONS continues to strike a chord with viewers for irreverently poking fun at anything and everything. As the longest-running scripted series in television history, THE SIMPSONS has become one of the most consistently groundbreaking, innovative and recognizable entertainment franchises throughout the…

Watchmen: Episode 5 Promo | HBO

We know there are other dimensions than this one. Watchmen continues Sundays at 9PM on HBO. #HBO #WatchmenHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Watchmen is based on the graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and published by DC. Follow Watchmen on Instagram: https://instagram.com/watchmen Follow Watchmen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/watchmen Like Watchmen on Facebook:…

Legacies | Season 2 Episode 5 | First Five Promo | The CW

Stream the first five episodes of Legacies, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/LGCShowyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About LEGACIES: The show centers around Hope Mikaelson, the vampire-witch-werewolf hybrid daughter of Hayley Marshall-Kenner and Klaus Mikaelson, and her time at a school for the supernatural called The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Connect with LEGACIES…

Work in Progress (2019) Official Teaser | Abby McEnany SHOWTIME Series

Chicago improv mainstay Abby McEnany co-created and stars in this uniquely human comedy series, Work In Progress. Watch the series premiere on Sunday, December 8 at 11/10c. #WorkInProgress Subscribe to the Showtime channel for more clips: http://goo.gl/esCMib Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: http://s.sho.com/1HbTNpQ Get SHOWTIME merchandise now: http://sho.com/store_yt_showtime Get more SHOWTIME: Follow: https://twitter.com/SHO_Network Like: https://www.facebook.com/showtime…

Queer Eye: We’re In Japan! New Opening Credits | Netflix

The new opening credits for Queer Eye: We're in Japan! Watch Queer Eye: We're in Japan!, only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81038150 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here