Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Superpowered Horror Movie Fans Of The Boys Season 2 Need To Watch

The Boys is a potent antidote to Hollywood's steady stream of superhero movies that delights in eviscerating the idea that people with superpowers would automatically become heroes. In its second season, it took the show's central premise a step further with the introduction of Ryan, the natural-born supe son of Homelander and Becca Butcher. For the moment at least, little Ryan is committed to not becoming a monster like his father, but if you're looking for a movie that examines what happens when child superheroes go bad, then you need to check out 2019's Brightburn.

Directed by David Yarovesky and written by Mark and Brian Gunn (James Gunn's cousin and brother, respectively), Brightburn poses the question, what if Superman went bad? The film is set in Kansas, and begins with a hopeful couple struggling to conceive a child. When a baby literally falls from the sky, it feels like a miracle — at least at first. As their adopted son Brandon Breyer (played with exquisite menace by the young Jackson A. Dunn) realizes he has powers that make him far stronger than the mere mortals around him, he begins killing people in increasingly gruesome ways.

In many ways, Brightburn feels like an alternative take on The Boys season 2, and a preview of what the world could be in for if Ryan ever decides to follow in Homelander's footsteps.

Brightburn packs a dark and satirical punch that rivals that of The Boys

One of the best things about The Boys is the show's utter lack of patience for the American myth of the superhero. Within the world of The Boys, people are every bit as obsessed with superheroes as Hollywood is in the real world, but the show makes it clear that it's dangerous to put so much faith in the notion that some super-abled person will come and save the day. Brightburn plays with those same themes with a sly sense of humor that sneaks in between the genuine horror of watching a superpowered tween unleash his adolescent fury on the world.

The film isn't remotely interested in hiding the fact that Brandon is basically Superman. From the Kansas setting to his kind, farm-owning parents played by Elizabeth Banks and David Denman, the young boy from another planet's life is built on a wholesome foundation which should by rights turn him into the world's hero. But the world beyond the farm is full of bullies and cruelty, and Brandon possesses more power than any child, human or not, should be responsible for controlling.

Ultimately, the nature-versus-nurture debate that's often brought up on The Boys in regards to Ryan and Homelander lands on the side of nature in Brightburn. All the love in the world isn't enough to stop Brandon's violent rampage once it begins, even though his mother tries valiantly to convince him that there's good in him.

Watching Brightburn is the perfect way to pass the time until The Boys season 3

Aside from possibly The Tick, there aren't many shows and movies comparable to The Boys. The series sets itself apart by being an irreverent, profane take on the superhero genre that still manages to be a character-driven drama with real emotional stakes. Brightburn is the rare film that matches the Amazon series on all counts.

Brightburn is a scary film, but it's also one with a dash of dark humor that takes the theme of a mother's love seriously. As Brandon's mother Tori, Banks is determined that her son can be saved no matter how many bad things he's done. Much like Becca, she's convinced her child is good even though the rest of the world sees him as a dangerous problem that needs to be dealt with. And ultimately, it's the dynamic between Tori and Brandon that makes Brightburn such a watchable film.

Like The Boys, Brightburn does have a heart — it just happens to exist alongside a whole lot of carnage and social commentary.