This supernatural horror (produced by Guardian of the Galaxy’s director James Gunn) never truly realises its promise – despite its intriguing ‘reverse Superman’ scenario.
Which is basically: what if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth – but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he could ultimately destroy the planet instead?
That’s what happens to Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Breyer (David Dunn) – still struggling to have a child after several years of marriage – after a spaceship crashes near their home in Brightburn, Kansas.
But when their ‘son’ Brandon (Jackson A Dunn) – who initially seems like a normal 12-year-old – gets drawn to some evil power (a kind of bad ‘Kryptonite) that’s been locked away by his parents, he realises he has superhero strength, which sadly brings out the worst in him as he struggles to control it – in some quite gruesome ways.
Even though it does have the feel of 2012’s Chronicle to it, the indie-esque nature of the movie actually prevents it from being as grand as it needed to be – to really force through the scale of Brandon’s evil intent – and it’s kept quite linear to its sometimes benefit and detriment.
But sadly as it’s ‘crashed and burned’ at the box office, we’ll probably never get to see that evolve with a sequel – even though this still has some bright spots despite not quite hitting the mark.
ESP Rating: 3/5
CAST: ELIZABETH BANKS, DAVID DENMAN, JACKSON A DUNN, GREGORY ALAN WILLIAMS, EMMIE HUNTER, MATT JONES, MEREDITH HAGNER & BECKY WAHLSTROM
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 30 MINS
DIRECTOR: DAVID YAROVESKY
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