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Making Superpowers Scary

May 24th, 2019Making Superpowers Scary

Superpowers aren’t always going to be used for good. Yes, we have come to expect characters from Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to apply their unique abilities for the benefit of mankind. But what happens if a super-powered being arrived on our planet and selfishly used his or her gifts to harm people?

This is the premise behind BRIGHTBURN, a twist on the classic Superman origin story that finds a young alien boy (Jackson A. Dunn) being adopted by a Midwestern couple (Elizabeth Banks, David Denman), but growing up to be evil instead of becoming Superman.

In an AMC exclusive interview ahead of the movie’s pending release, director David Yarovesky discussed the challenges with practically showing main character Brandon’s alien powers, when audiences see these gifts so often on screen and assume that they are going to be used one way: for good.

“Just the technical achievement of making it look like someone has superpowers is a task in and of itself,” Yarovesky said. “And I think it's kind of reinvented from movie to movie, in small ways. Making someone fly is no simple task, you know what I mean? You see it in so many movies, but just because you see it a lot doesn't mean it's not a tricky endeavor.

“And then, the other aspect is finding practical ways to express superpowers that can ring as horror,” he continued. “What is the glass shaking in JURASSIC PARK, you know, the little rings in the water? What is this thing that happens when Brandon arrives? It was those kind of questions. How can we express superpowers but tell it through a horror lens? We would say all the time on set, ‘On the corner of superhero and horror is where this movie is most exciting.’ That is the best, fun stuff. So, finding ways to make the horror elements of the movie feel a little more superhero and finding ways to make the superhero elements more horror, that was a fun tightrope to walk.”


BRIGHTBURN seems to turn the traditional Superman myth inside out. An alien crash lands on our planet and is adopted by a Midwestern couple. Only, instead of growing up to be a responsible hero, this boy, Brandon, uses his powers to hurt people and scare the town.

Find out what happens in this dark take on superpowers when BRIGHTBURN bursts into theatres on May 24. Tickets for the movie currently are on sale, so be sure to grab a convenient screening at your favorite AMC location.

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