Remember when Venom was announced back in the early part of last year? Remember how it was teased that it would have a hard R rating and we as fans and moviegoers collectively lost our minds at the possibilities of how brutal and awesome it could be? Then remember when Venom actually dropped and it was a mediocre PG-13 buddy comedy? Remember how we all wished we could have seen the version of Venom that we had all dreamed about? Yeah, me too. Luckily for us, the Gunn Brothers (which is what I'm going to call them from now on) must have also been disappointed by how Venom turned out because Brightburn is everything that Venom should have been. Let's get into it and be warned: I'm going to spoil the heck out of this movie so if you haven't seen it yet I recommend you do that first unless you don't care about spoilers.
Brightburn is the creation of writers Brian and Mark Gunn, heretofor known as the Gunn Brothers, and director David Yarovesky. With a 69% audience approval rating but only 57% approval from critics, I was very curious to see where this movie would go. Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, and Jackson A. Dunn, Brightburn basically asks the question of "What if there were a kid who had all the same powers as Superman but was totally super evil?" I've always thought that the world of comics could yield some great horror stories, and this movie is a great example of how to do that. We have the classic setup of superbaby crashing to earth in a spaceship, being taken in by a couple of Kansas farmers, and growing up as a pretty normal kid. As the kid gets starts to hit puberty his powers begin to manifest. If this were a normal super hero movie, the kid would use his powers for good and help people, but this is far from a normal super hero movie. Here we see Brandon, who is a general social outcast, find out that his parents have been lying to him for twelve years, find the spaceship he came to Earth in, have it awaken something in him, and then he kills a bunch of people. His motivations are kind of dumb, but he's only twelve and behaves like how a twelve-year-old who is trying to act like a badass would behave so I totally bought into it.
More importantly, let's talk about how super brutal this movie is. It's not overly gory, but the kills in this movie are some of the best I've seen in a horror movie in a long time. I won't spoil all of them in case there's someone here reading who hasn't seen the movie, but my favorite kill in the movie is when Brandon uses his laser vision to burn a giant whole through his dad's head. You heard me right, this kid straight up kills his dad in cold blood and you get to see the whole thing and it's awesome. Brightburn definitely doesn't shy away from the violence, and there were more than a couple of audible "Oh shits" in my theater.
Normally in a movie like this you'd expect the evil super-powered child to die by the end of the movie, but guess again. The movie ends with Brandon going on an absolute rampage and nobody knowing what he is or how do deal with him, leaving it open for potential sequels which would be pretty cool. This could spawn into an entire hard R horror super villain universe!
Well, if you haven't figured it out by now I was quite the fan of Brightburn. The Gunn Brothers wrote a pretty good movie and I hope we get more movies in this same vein. In my opinion this is definitely one you should check out in theaters. If you have seen Brightburn leave me a comment and let me know you thoughts!