Brightburn takes the story of Superman, and adds a twist: what if Superman turned out to be evil, instead of good? The answer: lots and lots of gore. The new horror movie, which opens this week, makes for a creepy blend of comic book and slasher movie tropes, and according to the makers of the movie, creates a whole new genre. That genre is superhero horror. Watch a new Brightburn featurette below in which producer James Gunn and star Elizabeth Banks discuss the film’s approach to genre.
“It’s a movie that’s both familiar and completely unique,” producer James Gunn says in the video above. And he’s got a point. Brightburn borrows a lot from Superman – it follows a child from another planet who crashes in Kansas, and is raised by a couple living on a farm. And that child grows to have superpowers. The twist arrives when we see this super-kid using his newfound powers to wreck havoc rather than save people. The end result is a surprisingly nasty (and gory) horror flick. As I wrote in my review:
There’s a nihilistic streak to Brightburn that reminded me of Rob Zombie’s severely flawed, but somewhat interesting remake of Halloween. Much like Zombie’s take on Michael Myers, Brandon is a powerful monster that might have turned out differently if he had just been better understood. But that doesn’t happen. And people die – violently.
This video is all about how Brightburn is giving birth to a brand new genre. I don’t know if I agree with that assessment. The film isn’t really trying to break new ground – it just wants to take your traditional superhero mythos and subvert (and pervert) it. And that’s fine! It makes for an effective horror movie. Not every new movie needs to be groundbreaking.
Brightburn, starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones, and Meredith Hagner, opens today.
What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.
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