Brightburn – USA, 2019

Brightburn is a 2019 American action horror feature film directed by David Yarovesky (The Hive). James Gunn (Slither) co-produced the formerly secret project via The H Collective, which was scripted by his brother Brian Gunn and cousin Mark Gunn.

The movie stars Elizabeth Banks, Meredith Hagner and David Denman.

Plot:

“What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?”

Reviews:

“It focuses on its best aspects and despite a few story hiccups will leave viewers disturbed by what a superhuman could actually do if they were real. The story moves quickly, perhaps too much in some later scenes, but in the beginning it works fine.” Roger Maléspin, Cryptic Rock

Brightburn stays sadistically entertaining for its explosive horror show, but by and large feels substantially hollow. Come for the concept, stay for the slaughter, I guess. Undoubtedly eyeing sequel potential given how much it plays like a prologue, Brightburn leaves a lot of obvious questions unanswered.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

“Depending on how you see it, Brightburn’s adherence to the structure of an origins story will either exacerbate or alleviate the ongoing superhero fatigue felt by many of us. For me, it was closer to the latter, the film’s nasty, noxious inversion of a story we have seen too many times proving to be a much-needed shock to the system.” Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

“Literally jaw-dropping gore, shocks enough to keep horror fans gawping/happy and, through their uniqueness, contribute to Brightburn’s brilliance, but the real horror derives from the staggering lead performance from Dunn, who is totally convincing amongst the fantasy horseplay. The script flits too quickly at times (it’s a brisk 90 minutes).” Daniel Goodwin, HeyUGuys

” …Brightburn lacks the visual stylization or wit to elevate it from the realm of the crudely effective B-movie. The filmmakers don’t seem to have a handle on their main character’s powers, which include flying, superhuman strength and deadly laser beams shooting out of his eyes. When he’s truly feeling evil, Brandon dons a mask, which is apparently meant to be scary but just looks silly.” Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“If Brightburn had a more fleshed out story this would’ve been a damn near perfect movie.  As is, it’s still really entertaining and with it being only an hour and a half it breezes by.  Horror fans might enjoy this twist on supernatural killer kids, but if you’re a comic book fan as well then I think you’ll get the most enjoyment out of this movie.| Jason McDonald, Horror-Movies.ca

…Brightburn is a competent movie crafted out of incredible ideas. It’s gross, interesting, scary, and has fascinating mythology, all of which would be so much better if nearly all of it wasn’t delivered in such an obtuse way.” Germain Lussier, io9

“The premise isn’t bad, even if the evil-Superman origin story was done better in Chronicle. The execution, however, is lacking, particularly in freshness, humour or style. If what can make an otherwise clock-punching popcorn entertainment memorable are its idiosyncrasies, this movie offers only some gratuitously dwelt-upon gore.” Dennis Harvey, Variety

“While we can perhaps be grateful that the superficiality of Brightburn probably kept it from opting to exploit elements of disturbed-kid narratives that have been all too common in our more tragic news stories, what remains is still never terribly entertaining as either popcorn or a bent take on superhero myths.” Robert Abele, The Wrap

Release:

Sony Pictures released BrightBurn on in the USA on Memorial Day, May 24, 2019, and worldwide thereafter.

Cast:

  • Elizabeth Banks … Tori Breyer
  • Jackson A. Dunn … Brandon Breyer
  • David Denman … Kyle Breyer
  • Jennifer Holland
  • Matt Jones
  • Meredith Hagner
  • Steve Agee
  • Gregory Alan Williams … Chief Deputy Deever
  • Becky Wahlstrom
  • Christian Finlayson … Fauxhawk
  • Elizabeth Becka … Principal Susko
  • Emmie Hunter … Caitlyn
  • Stephen Blackehart
  • Terence Rosemore
  • Mike Dunston … Reporter

Censorship:

The MPAA gave Brightburn an ‘R’ rating: “Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.”

Two scenes in the UK version were cut by Columbia in order to obtain a ’15’ rating. Unelected censorship body the BBFC commented: “During post-production, the distributor sought and was given advice on how to secure the desired classification. Following this advice, certain changes were made prior to submission.”

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