Brightburn

Brightburn is a 2019 American superhero horror film directed by David Yarovesky and produced by James Gunn and Kenneth Huang. It stars Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Jackson A. Dunn, and follows a young alien boy raised on Earth who realizes he has superpowers, soon using them to terrorize his town. Basically the story is a relook at the story of Superman and what if he was an evil being instead of the superhero he turned out to be.

In the year 2006, Tori and Kyle Breyer, a couple living in a farm in Brightburn, Kansas, investigate a crash in the woods and find a small spaceship. In it is a human looking baby who they then take in and raise him as their own. Brandon, as they name, him is know as their son who they adopted by everyone else, is a sweet and normal child with the exception that he doesn’t fall ill or bleed. Twelve years later, the ship begins transmitting an alien message, leading Brandon to discover he has superhuman strength and invulnerability. He sleepwalks to the barn and tries to open the cellar, chanting the craft’s message, but Tori intervenes.

He starts becoming arrogant and tests his powers and also throws a tantrum on his birthday at a diner when his uncle Noah and aunt Merilee give him a hunting rifle, which Kyle refuses to let Brandon have, and Brandon causes a scene. This makes Kyle force Brandon out of the diner and leave with Tori. Tori finds photos of lingerie and swimsuit models, surgical diagrams, and graphic photos of human organs in Brandon’s room. Kyle tells him it’s ok to act on his urges but this makes Brandon to stalk Caitlyn, a girl he likes, in her bedroom and scare her. The farm chickens seem scared of him and he slaughters them for no reason. Caitlyn, refuses to touch him during a trust fall excerise at school, which causes him to fall and he breaks her hand in return.  Tori interrupts Brandon as he levitates above the open cellar, chanting the ship’s message, and he falls and cuts himself on the spaceship, the first time he has ever been injured. Tori reveals the truth about his arrival on Earth, and Brandon leaves, finally understanding the ship’s message: “Take the world.”

Brandon visits Catilyn again and offers her flowers. When she tells him that her mother has forbidden him to speak to him, a masked Brandon stalks and murders Erica. Merilee, his aunt who is also the school counseller is concerned about Brandon’s lack of remorse in hurting Caitlyn, tells him that she is required to report his progress to police. Brandon tries to intimidate Merilee at her home, but she sends him away. He comes back and scares Noah who threatens to tell his parents, prompting Brandon to lash out. Terrified, Noah tries to escape in his truck, but Brandon lifts and crashes the vehicle, killing Noah and draws a symbol on the road in Noah’s blood. Brandon returns home shirtless after school, telling his parents that other students tore his shirt, but refuses to give it to Tori. His parents learn from a grieving Merilee that Brandon had gone to her house and are alarmed when Brandon does not react to their news of Noah’s death. When Kyle grabs him, Brandon violently shoves him. Kyle finds Brandon’s blood-stained shirt and shows it to Tori, but she refuses to believe Brandon killed Noah. Taking Brandon hunting, Kyle shoots him in the back of the head but the bullet does no damage. Heartbroken, Brandon kills Kyle with his heat vision.

After the sheriff shows Tori the symbol found at the scenes of Erica’s and Noah’s deaths, Tori finds Brandon’s notebook with drawings of the murders, a masked Brandon destroying the Earth with the words “take the world”, and the symbol. Tori realized her husband was right about Brandon and attempts to reach Kyle, but Brandon answers the phone and informs her Kyle is dead. As Brandon destroys the house, Tori calls the police, but Brandon brutally murders the sheriff and his deputy. In the barn, Tori finds Erica’s mutilated body nailed to a wall and surrounded by symbols in blood. Remembering Brandon’s cut, Tori arms herself with a sharp piece of the ship to stab him, but fails when Brandon anticipates the attack. Enraged, Brandon flies Tori through the barn roof (injuring her face) and above the clouds, and drops her to her death, then crashes an airplane into the farm, killing everyone aboard, to cover up his murders.

During the end credits, news reports and a conspiracy theorist discuss assorted destruction in Brightburn, the existence of other super beings, and pleads with humanity to take action. The montage seems to set up a sequel or 2 but the movie hasn’t done well at the box office. The movie made a worldwide total of $32.1 million on a budget of around $6-12 million. The acting is decent and the cast does a good job but the overall execution isn’t that exciting. As a horror movie it relies on jump scares and a scifi superhero or super-being it is interesting. I will give it a 7 outta 10!

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