Film and Plot Synopsis
In Brightburn, one dark night, Tori Breyer finally realizes her dreams of motherhood when a mysterious baby boy crashes in a spaceship on her land. The baby they call Brandon grows up to be everything Tori and her husband, Kyle, ever wanted; he’s bright, talented and, curious about the world. However, as Brandon nears puberty, a powerful darkness begins to burn within him, and his parents begin to worry about the boy they are raising. Soon Brandon acts on his violent calling, and those closest to him wind up in grave danger.
‘Brightburn’ Movie Summary
Twelve years later, Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn) is an awkward teenage boy who is extremely intelligent. He has a strong relationship with his adoptive parents, and generally lives a happy life. However, one night the spaceship begins transmitting an alien message which calls Brandon to it in an almost sleepwalk like trance. He tries to break into the locked cellar while chanting some alien tongue. Tori finds him in the barn and breaks the trance. Brandon appears to have no recollection of the events.
The next day, Brandon is trying to mow the lawn at the farm, but accidentally throws the mower several dozen yards away while he attempts to start the mower. When he approaches the running mower, he sticks his hand into the blades and stops the machine without receiving any injury. Soon after, Brandon is celebrating his birthday at the local diner with his parents and his Aunt Merilee (Meredith Hagner) and Uncle Noah (Matt Jones). His aunt and uncle give him a rifle for his birthday, which his father objects to and takes away from him. When the usual docile Brandon becomes aggressive and demands the gun from his father, his parents take him home and start to worry about him.
At home, strange things begin to happen. Kyle finds Brandon chewing on a metal fork to the point that he bends the fork. Tori and Kyle find graphic photos of human organs and surgical diagrams underneath Brandon’s bed. One night, Kyle finds the door and the lock to the chicken coop torn off its hinges and all the chickens inside are slaughtered. Kyle suspects Brandon, but Tori is convinced it is just a wolf.
One weekend, the Breyer family goes on a camping trip, and Kyle gives Brandon the talk about what is appropriate sexual behavior. That night, Tori wakes up in their tent and finds Brandon gone. Thirty miles away, Caitlyn (Emmie Hunter), one of Brandon’s classmates, is awoken in the night by mysterious music coming from her computer. When she turns off the computer, and it begins to play again, she becomes frightened. When she turns around, she sees Brandon standing by her second story window. She screams, and her mother Erica (Becky Wahlstrom) comes running into the room. When Caitlyn tells her what she saw, Erica checks the drapes and finds no one. Meanwhile, Brandon mysteriously reappears back at the camp with his parents.
Soon after at school, Brandon, Caitlyn, and some other students are doing a trust exercise in P.E. When Brandon falls in Caitlyn’s direction, she does not catch him and calls him a pervert. When she is forced by a teacher to help Brandon up, Brandon crushes the bones in her hand. Brandon is suspended for the incident and required to meet with Aunt Merilee, who is the school counsel. Upset at the resolution, Erica demands that Brandon be arrested, but the police refuse to do so.
That night, Brandon is drawn to the ship again and breaks the lock on the cellar door with his enhanced strength. Once he approaches the ship, Brandon levitates above the ship and begins chanting in a foreign tongue. Once again, Tori finds him and interrupts the connection, causing Brandon to fall on top of the ship, which causes him to be injured. While Tori patches him up, Brandon asks him where he comes from. Tori reveals the truth about his arrival on Earth when he was a baby. Brandon reacts poorly to the revelation and calls his parents liars. As he runs out of the house and is finally able to completely translate the complete message he was chanting before “Take the world”. In his rage, Brandon uses his heat vision for the first time.
A short while later, Brandon visits Caitlyn in her bedroom and gives her some flowers. Frightened, Caitlyn tells Brandon that her mother told her not to talk to him. Brandon leaves and goes to the diner where Erica is working alone. He stalks her, and ultimately murders her in the diner. The next day, the police investigate the scene and find a symbol looking like two back to back B’s drawn on the window. There is blood all over the diner, but Erica’s body is nowhere to be found.
The following day at school, Brandon is meeting with his Aunt Merilee, who tells him that she is required to report all his progress to the police, but he threatens her not to do so. That night, Brandon stalks his aunt through her house until she goes to bed. Brandon’s Uncle Noah arrives home from the bar and finds a masked Brandon hiding in his closet. Noah threatens to tell Brandon’s parents, which displeases Brandon. The young boy lashes out as his uncle, causing him to try to escape in his truck. Brandon lifts the truck into the air and drops it on the ground, killing his uncle. Brandon uses Noah’s blood to draw the same symbol on the road. Brandon returns home shirtless and tells his parents that the other students tore his shirt while playing soccer late at school. However, when Tori tries to get the shirt, he refuses to give it to her.
The next day Merilee calls Kyle and Tori and tells them that Noah was killed in a car accident. During the conversation, she reveals that Brandon was at her house the day before. When Tori and Kyle confront him with this information, Brandon shoves Kyle across the room into a doorway. Later, Kyle finds Brandon’s blood-stained shirt and shows it to Tori, but she refuses to believe that her baby boy killed Noah.
Kyle begins to see Brandon as a threat, so he plans a hunting trip where he intends to kill Brandon. While Brandon is examining deer tracks, Kyle shoots him in the back of the head, but the bullets just bounce off. In response, Brandon puts on his mask and cape and kills his father with his heat vision. Meanwhile, Tori finds some of Brandon’s drawings that show what he has done, as well as the symbol that has been left at all the crime scenes. She realizes that Kyle has been right about how dangerous their son has become. She tries to call her husband, but Brandon answers the phone and tells her that Kyle is gone. Brandon returns home and starts to destroy the Breyer house. Tori calls 911, and the police respond, but are killed quickly by Brandon.
Tori remembers that Brandon was injured by the alien ship that he arrived in, so she goes to the barn to retrieve a piece of the ship in the hopes that it will stop her now invulnerable son. She finds Erica’s mutilated body nailed to the cellar wall surrounded by symbols in blood. Tori finds a jagged piece of the ship and when Brandon finds her, she tries to lure him close with some kind words. When Tori tries to stab him in the back with the shard, Brandon stops her. He grabs her and flies high into the ski. As Tori gently caresses her son’s cheek one last time, Brandon lets his mother go and she falls back to Earth to her death. As Brandon hovers in the sky, he sees a passenger jet plane flying toward him, and the scene goes dark. The next day, the Breyer farm is covered with emergency personnel who are trying to investigate the plane crash. We hear news reports that everyone on board the plane and Brandon’s parents were the killed during the crash, leaving Brandon the sole survivor.
In the mid-credits scene, news reports and a conspiracy theorist (Michael Rooker) discuss the worldwide devastation caused by the entity now referred to as Brightburn.
Additional Film Information
- Peruse IMDb’s article on Brightburn
- Learn more Brightburn information at Wikipedia
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- Read Brightburn reviews from the folks at Rotten Tomatoes