Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween will as usual feature reviews of horror stories and movies sprinkled in with my usual topics. This year I’m starting off with Brightburn.
BRIGHTBURN (2019) – This mid-level budget movie has been criminally underrated in my opinion. Its horror twist on the usual superhero story (especially Superman) is well-handled and should have been just the thing audiences flocked to for a change of pace from the flood of superhero movies in recent years.
The film skillfully combines horror with science fiction and Jackson A Dunn as the alien child Brandon makes for the creepiest kid this side of Damien in The Omen. The kills in Brightburn are fairly gory but only in one instance is it dwelt upon, and the scene definitely earns that emphasis.
Right up front I’ll mention that you do have to make with a BIG suspension of disbelief. The movie asks viewers to accept the premise that in this age of unending documentation and requirements for child vaccinations that a childless couple could successfully do a fake adoption of a baby from outer space whose spaceship crashed near their farmhouse.
At any rate the couple, the Breyers, live in a remote small-town in Kansas, so if you really have to, you can assume that has helped them carry out their deception. That town is named Brightburn, which provides the film with its title.
Little Brandon hits his 12th birthday as the movie rolls along, and the onset of puberty triggers a telepathic link with the remains of the small spacecraft which brought him to the Earth. From there, Brandon’s paranormal abilities manifest themselves in various ways and soon lead to him recognizing how inferior we humans are to him and his kind.
The horror builds from there, as does the child’s body count. Elizabeth Banks as the mother is memorable and Dunn’s performance is chilling as his inhuman nature comes to the fore. I won’t give any spoilers up here other than to say that the film at one point features a very dark version of the “Superman and Lois Lane fly” scene from 1978’s Superman.
Look for kids dressed in the memorable Brightburn costume on Halloween night.
One criticism of this movie that I strongly disagree with is the claim that we never get an explanation of what drives the “unearthly child” (for you Doctor Who fans). This is addressed in the classroom scene when Brandon displays his morbid fascination with a species of wasps which have lost the ability to make nests and so they take the nests formed by other wasps.
As the story progresses, viewers may notice that this is the same m.o. of Brandon’s race. They send their young to inhabited worlds and when the children are physically old enough to mate the ship triggers their Prime Directive: Take the world.
Yes, take the world as in use your extraordinary abilities to crush humanity while mating with indigenous females. These offspring will literally “inherit the Earth.” Any sci-fi fan can well imagine that Brandon’s litters won’t be limited to just one or so children at a time, but maybe dozens. Given the alien boy’s callousness toward humanity he probably won’t care if the mothers die delivering the enormous broods.
FOR SILENT HORROR SHORTS FROM 1896 – 1909 CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2012/10/19/the-best-silent-horror-film-shorts-1896-1909/
FOR MORE HALLOWEEN ITEMS CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/halloween-season/
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.