The Perfect Example!
Looks pretty awesome, no? Brightburn is the perfect example of a film that looks like it is attempting to blend superhero appeal with horror movie tropes… in a good way… in a really, really, really good way. It feels like it is going to be a breath of fresh air and a direct response to the avalanche of superhero movies audiences have been getting for over a decade.
They’re taking the appeal of showing a character with super- (strength, speed, laser eyes???) and turning it on its head by adding a horrifying atmosphere. What if Superman was evil to the core? What hope would anyone have fighting against him? Amazing premise.
I bet this movie is going to be a smash hit. Audiences want this right now. They want something familiar with a new twist. I think it represents a pivot in the market that is a few years in the making. Horror has tons of momentum with movies like Get Out, Hereditary, A Quiet Place and others, but I think the genre needs something like this to finally bust up the superhero run and shift audiences’ appetites toward another horror movie renaissance, like what we saw in the 70’s with movies like Halloween, The Exorcist, Carrie, Alien (yes, it’s a horror) and a bunch of others.
Hope for Horror
How do you get people interested in horror who don’t like hard genre movies? Add a superhero element. Just look at the mega smash hit, Split. Suddenly, mainstream audiences are drawn in by the high concept and an interest in seeing something new. I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that Brightburn is produced by Guardians of the Galaxy (superhero movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe) director, James Gunn. Perhaps, he spotted the need for a trend shift in the marketplace while working on Guardians of the Galaxy.
If more producers implement this type of innovation, we might see a lot of great horror movies with crossover elements coming out in the near future.