What do you think of Brightburn?

David Denman and Elizabeth Banks as Kyle Breyer and Tori Breyer, respectively, in the David Yarovesky directed ‘Brightburn.’
David Denman and Elizabeth Banks as Kyle Breyer and Tori Breyer, respectively, in the David Yarovesky directed ‘Brightburn.’

Screenplay writers Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn have essentially tried to twist DC Comics’ Superman into something horror aficionados would find entertaining. Consequently, the directed David Yarovesky superhero-ish horror Brightburn hit American movie theater screens Friday, 24 May 2019. Unfortunately or fortunately for Britons, depending on your perspective, Brightburn will not hit British cinema screens until Wednesday, 19 June 2019.

Brightburn Promotional Poster. Image Credit: IMDb.com
Brightburn Promotional Poster. Image Credit: IMDb.com

An Evil Superman

Instead of Jonathon and Martha Kent raising the Kryptonian Kal-El as Clark Kent on their farm,  we find Kyle (David Denman) and Tori Breyer (Elizabeth Banks) taking in a child from another world. Crash-landing on Earth in the same way as the pod carrying Kal-El did, the alien entity is raised as Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn).

Mirroring what we see on the Kent farm, even though the Breyers hide the alien pod in their barn, Brandon is drawn to seek out the pod. The pod calling to Brandon stimulates something deep inside his DNA. Brandon’s powers increasingly manifest themselves the more he has direct contact with the pod. There is even a symbol representative of the lead character’s ethical mindset. While the Kryptonian symbol featured in Superman means ‘hope,’ the image Brandon is seen drawing has a degree of darkness to it one would expect with horror. This is where the Superman similarities end.

The Darkness Fails to become Fully Manifest

Unlike the 1978 Richard Donner directed Superman, the narrative in Brightburn is focused on Brandon as a teenager rather than jumping from childhood to adulthood in the blink of an eye. For much of the Superman narrative, the title character is seen as an adult living and working in Metropolis as the mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent.

Superman II Promotional Poster. Image Credit: IMDb.com
Superman II Promotional Poster. Image Credit: IMDb.com

Superman, even more so in the 1980 sequel Superman II, has demonstrated a powerful love for the human race. Brandon is no superhero. If anything, Brandon’s villainously evil behaviour illustrates he does not possess any degree of concern for human life. While there are those individuals that want to see the world flourish, there are those which would rather see the world burn.

Brandon has a lethal form of heat vision. Burning the head off someone is not something you’d find Superman ever doing but this is exactly what Brandon does with his father. As for the sheriffs that respond to Tori’s emergency call, Brandon uses his super speed to take them out.

We are ready to see the world burn. We are ready to see where Brian and Mark take the story’s narrative, but it never really pans out. Consequently, the films feels incomplete. The narrative’s full potential unexplored. There is much more the screenplay writers and director could have done with the narrative which would have made the substance of the story seriously pop for horror fans.

The number of superhero films to hit movie theater screens over the past decade has been significant. Consequently, there is concern floating around Hollywood so-called superhero fatigue is setting in with moviegoers.

Brandon’s Kryptonite

Prior to an incident in the barn, not once has Brandon had as much as a paper cut. For a human, this is not normal but Brandon is not human. Nothing on Earth can harm him. While anthropogenic objects cannot harm Brandon, we have seen the teenager bleed. In the future, Brandon’s pod could be a problem for the boy. The metal is extra-terrestrial. Consequently, this material can cut into Brandon’s flesh. It’s worse than Superman’s kryptonite. Is Tori the only one to know of Brandon’s weakness? If Tori did not tell anyone Brandon’s Achilles’ heel, she may have taken the secret with her death.

Who are the Cast Members?

Further to Denman, Banks and Dunn, the film features Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner, Emmie Hunter, Abraham Clinkscales, Christian Finlayson, Becky Wahlstrom, Terence Rosemore, Gregory Alan Williams, Elizabeth Becka, Annie Humphrey, Steve Agee, Michael Rooker and Jennifer Holland in prominent roles.

Is There a Trailer?


The American review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes is highly influential. The famous or infamous Tomatometer, depending on your perspective, shows a mediocre score of 57 per cent. Consequently, possibly as a result of how critics have treated the production, the audience score is not that much better. As of Saturday, 8 June 2019, the audience score for Brightburn stood at 68 per cent. The scores shown on Rotten Tomatoes are representative of 150 critics and 3,779 verified audience ratings, respectively. Consequently, Brandon might not like these results.