I know if I find a random baby in a spaceship that’s crash landed on earth, I’ll definitely NOT be keeping it.
Stars: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn
Director: David Yarovesky
Synopsis: A couple who are struggling to conceive believe that they have been blessed when they find a baby in the woods in some kind of space craft that has crash landed on earth. After telling everyone they adopted the baby, all seems to be going well and everyone is happy….until Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn) turns 12. He suddenly starts hearing voices and being drawn to the spaceship which the parents have hidden in the barn and his strength is becoming superhuman….and his temper, extremely violent.
Opinion: I love a good creepy kid horror movie and the trailer for Brightburn layed out the path for a very promising movie. Once it started, however, I found myself about 15 minutes in feeling kind of let down and disappointed that the movie was a bit flat and kind of dull and predictable. I mean honestly, who finds a baby in a spaceship and thinks that keeping it is totally normal. So, at about the 20-30 minute mark of the film I had already started to mentally write my disappointed review when everything took a 180 and got incredible. The tone, feel, pace and tension all transformed pretty fast at a pivotal moment and I went from being somewhat bored to on the edge of my seat and loving every moment. So yes, my negative thoughts we premature because now I’ve seen the whole thing I kind of love the pacing at the start and the bland story and the mundane scenes because it just makes everything after that so raw and alive and creepy, it’s fantastic.
If you’ve ever read a horror review of mine before you will know that I don’t scare easily so I don’t really go into a movie like this hoping to be scared, instead I am hoping for tension and that adrenaline rush you get from great creepy undertones and dark sequences. This film, once it gets started, has all of those elements to the point I even flinched at two brilliant jump scare moments. This film plays heavily on the darkness hiding things until the last minute, or shadows in the corner, or a creepy kid standing behind a curtain just staring because WHAT THE HELL!! And then the deaths, oh god they are brutal and gory and horrifying but all in total context of this film and the fact that you as the viewer know it’s the kid while everyone else is living this life of not knowing or maybe suspecting but hmm yeah nah he’s a kid ohhhh what’s that moving out in the shadow?
You can’t have a good horror without a good cast because timing is always key and if you don’t believe the performance everything else in the scene can fall flat. The cast in this film is almost all pretty great. There are a couple of people who couldn’t hold up to the rest but hey, they had minimal screen time so it wasn’t a huge problem. Dunn though is fantastic as Brandon, this non feeling cold hearted, evil, crazy, demonic and ‘special’ kid. His ability to show the change from innocent and happy to utterly insane in just his facial expression is a talent for sure and definitely creepy to watch. Elizabeth Banks & David Denman as his parents are also great besides the fact, they had to play people who just happily take in alien babies like it’s no big deal.
Overall, it’s a slow start but a great middle and end. Worthy of the hype you feel from the trailer and a must for any horror fan. I honestly liked it way more than I thought I would and the fact it had me double checking shadows on my walk home after is a definite win in my books (it was after 11pm don’t judge too much).
Scare Factor: Brace yourself you will jump. I flinched twice but everyone else in my cinema jumped a few times that I could see and the occasional embarrassed/nervous laughter from two cocky guys that came to watch is another confirmation that the creep factor is high. Also, there’s gore, the death scenes are grisly and don’t leave much to the imagination.