'Brightburn' Review

Updated on June 3, 2019
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Brightburn is a 2019 superhero horror film produced by James Gunn and Kenneth Huang. The film was directed by David Yarovesky and stars Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones, and Meredith Hagner. The film is produced and financed by Screen Gems, Stage 6 Films, Troll Court Entertainment, and The H Collective.

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? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.

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What if instead of Supermen representing hope, peace, and justice, he said forget all that, I'm about to mess some stuff up.

Brightburn's premise was great. The horror elements of the film really worked, and I found this kid to be terrifying. However, with that being said, I didn't think Brightburn fully capitalized on it's excellent premise. That's not saying I didn't like the film, because I really did enjoy it. I thought it was a very good film, but it could have been great.

For me, they didn't explore the story enough. I would have loved to see them explore the inner conflict in the kid. This good vs evil personal story would have done so much for this film. Instead we're left with a pretty one-dimensional character. He's an evil kid with superhuman powers. That's his character. He was good enough to watch, but you can't really connect with him in any way, making him come off as a little generic.

The middle of the film really felt like a collection of horror scenes. They were very well done scenes. David Yarovesky did an excellent job and these scene looked great, but they felt a little generic. The film started to feel more and more like the average possessed devil child film that's been done so many times before. It got a lot more tropey and cliche. They even had the blind parent character.

Again, this is not a bad film by any means, but not a great one either. I couldn't help but feel just a little disappointed. I thought the film just didn't reach it's full potential. With that being said, I still really enjoyed the film. It was a lot more gory than I thought, but I loved it. Visually, I thought the film looked very good. The acting was solid and I liked the score, plus there were some great action scenes. Again, not a bad film. I thought Brightburn was a very good film, just not great.

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The acting was solid. Elizabeth Banks did a great job alongside David Denman. I really felt their characters. I thought they really sold it the feeling of desperate parents grateful to have a child well. Elizabeth Banks made a slightly annoying character a lot less annoying.

Jackson A. Dunn did a great job as the kid. He was very creepy and did the evil vibe well.

The acting was solid, plus Badger was in here.

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The story is where I thought the film was the weakest.

I really enjoyed the first act. I thought it set up the rest of the film nicely. The only problem I had with the opening is the ship crashing scene. I thought it took away the mystery and tension from scenes that came later in the film. This was the most connected I felt to these characters. You feel for these two parents because they can't have kids, and then you feel how grateful they are to have their son. The kid also felt very natural. He's kind of an awkward kid that starts to realize he's not normal. At this point he was relatable enough to get behind.

The middle is where I thought the plot struggled and started to show it's true colors. It lacked dept, felt a little shallow, and disconnected. The writing didn't necessarily get lazy, but it did lack imagination. The middle was basically jumping from one horror sequence to another, but without any real context or depth. I also found the motivation to be extremely disappointing. There were so many different directions they could have went, but they seemed to take the easy way out.

The third act is what I think saved the film for me. I thought it was very well done. There was one scene that could have been so emotional, but they didn't really do anything with it. I was very disappointed with how that particular scene ended. Other than that though I loved it. The ending itself could've been a little better, but I wasn't disappointed with it.

Overall the plot was fine, but it lacked depth and imagination.

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Brightburn was a very enjoyable B movie. I thought it was solid, but not a great one. It felt like a missed opportunity. It was a great premise, but the execution lacked imagination. The film kind of came off as generic.

Brightburn was well directed, looked great visually, and has solid acting. Just about everything in the film was good, but it could've been great. I couldn't help but feel just a little disappointed.

Brightburn is a flawed but solid B movie.

3 stars for Brightburn

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    © 2019 Royce Proctor

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