The chilling, James Gunn-produced superhero horror film Brightburn opens in theaters this week and while trailers and clips for the film -- including the recently-released final trailer -- have been getting audiences prepared for the terrifying tale, the first reviews for the film have started to emerge as well. That means that Rotten Tomatoes has released Brightburn's initial Rotten Tomatoes score -- a score that may be more scary than super.
Brightburn is, at the time of this article's publication, sitting at a 60% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer. This number is based on a total of 30 reviews currently counted and while the reviews do skew a bit closer to positive, it's a close-to-even split with negative takes -- 18 "fresh" and 12 "rotten" to be exact.
Of the positive reviews, most note that the film is far from perfect, but offers praise for the combination of the superhero genre with the horror genre, noting that the use of the familiar horror format is an interesting subversion of a superhero origin story. However, to an extent, it's also that superhero-meets-horror concept that gets it much of its negative response as well. Several reviews note that the idea is good on paper but ends up a bit too predictable with a somewhat lackluster execution. Both positive and negative reviews acknowledge the film's horror elements, noting some genuine scares in the film.
Brightburn tells the story of a young man who arrives on Earth as a baby and is discovered and taken in by a married couple. The couple raises the boy as their own, but as he grows older, he discovers that he has powers and is unlike anyone else on earth. As his powers emerged, others struggle to understand who he is. Unlike a more familiar superhero story, the boy doesn't lean into the idea of using his powers for good. Instead, the boy experiences some big chances and takes a terrifying turn who ends up a devastating, terrible force that cannot be contained.
The film is produced by James Gunn, who is well known for directing the Guardians of the Galaxy movies for Marvel Studios. Before his big budged turn however, Gunn was a voice in the horror genre, penning the script for the Dawn of the Dead remake and directing the cult hit Slither. Mark Gunn and Brian Gunn wrote the screenplay for Brightburn and David Yarovesky is the film's director.
Brightburn stars Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones, and Meredith Hagner.
Brightburn opens in theaters May 24th.
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