Brightburn Review


Brightburn is an anti-superhero horror movie from the writer of Guardians of the Galaxy. What more could you want? As it turns out, quite a lot.

The plot

Imagine a couple in rural America. Kyle and Tori want to have a baby, but they’re not having any luck. Then, an object drops from the night sky into the backyard of their farm.

Fast-forward twelve years. The couple still live on their farm with their now twelve-year-old Brandon. He’s a very bright boy, but something is off about him as well. There’s something alien hidden beneath the barn and it starts to influence Brandon.

Horror ensues.

Now, you probably think you can guess what happened with the object from space, and how the rest of Brightburn goes. Well, guess what… you’re absolutely right. There is zero exciting twists and the movie follows the standard horror flick.

So, yeah, I was bored.

The characters

Brandon is a normal boy until he turns into a psychopath. His alien instincts battle the rational part of him that wants to be a normal boy, creating an interesting juxtaposition between… no wait, that doesn’t happen at all. Oops, Brandon is just a boy who turns into a psycho killer overnight because of aliens. The end.

Kyle and Tori are your average Joe’s. They live on a farm and are trying to raise a child. Nothing special there. Tori wanted to have a child very badly, driving her to… well, should I spoil this? Alright, I will … driving her to adopt the alien baby dropped in her lap by spaceship. Kyle is less convinced and is the first to see how evil Brandon has become. To no avail, though.

There could have been an interesting tension between Kyle and Tori, but Brightburn doesn’t really go down that road. Instead it opts for gruesome murders that really don’t ratchet up the tension between the couple.

The rest of the townfolks are boring and pretty daft. Apparently, when a twelve-year-old breaks and mangles the hand of one of his fellow students with one hand, that doesn’t really warrant investigation. Neither do all the other gruesome things happening. The stick-your-head-in-the-sand approach to crime solving. Your mileage may vary.

My verdict

Superhero stories turned on their head can be fun. I loved the Boys, for example. Brightburn, though… no.

I’ll admit, I’m not a horror fan. Either my imagination goes into freak-out mode and I can’t sleep – the Grudge, the Others – or I’m easily bored by the gore. This movie falls into the latter category. Still, I enjoyed a movie like Cabin in the Woods, and Ichi the Killer, but this movie is a far cry from either of those.


All in all, I was just bored out of my mind. Brightburn is utterly predictable and the gore is cliché. Just… no.

Go watch Cabin in the Woods or Ichi the Killer instead. Or the Boys.

Martin Stellinga Written by:

I'm a science fiction and fantasy author/blogger from the Netherlands