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The Breyer Family

    Brandon Breyer 

Brandon Breyer / Brightburn

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brightburn.png
I want to do good, mom. I do.
Click here to see him in costume 
Portrayed by: Jackson A. Dunn

  • A God Am I: Brandon appears to develop a god complex, if the illustrations in his notebook are to be believed. His true nature does think he's superior to humans.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Brandon has a crush on a classmate named Caitlyn. At first she did like him, but after she caught him following her in her bedroom one night, she now considers him a pervert and a creep. Later, he crushes her hand when she dropped him during a trust exercise and called him a creep (pervert in the film). However, he still liked her and when she tells him her mother told her not to talk to him anymore, he kills her mother.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: According to Tori, Brandon has trouble fitting in with other kids. This is best shown where a group of kids gang up on him and push him to the ground, and when a teacher tells a girl named Caitlyn to help him up she protests, calling him a creep. Caitlyn was only calling him a creep because in a prior scene he was stalking her in her room at night, and was actually shown to be nice to him before he started stalking her. The kids ganging up on him was a team building exercise supervised by the coach, making it an Informed Ability.
  • Ax-Crazy: As he further alienates himself from everyone around him, his penchant for violence and destruction grows. By the end, he’s gone completely psychotic.
  • Alliterative Name: Both his first and last name start with a "B". Which is also his sign with two "B"s side-by-side.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Although Brandon never refers to himself as Brightburn (that being the name of the town), he later starts being referred to as such by vloggers.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Despite his parents' best efforts to raise him right, Brandon gives into his evil instincts and murders them. After destroying the one thing that could harm him, Brandon goes on to spread terror and commit mass murder on a global scale.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: When he first starts turning evil, he slaughters all the chickens in his father's henhouse.
  • Beta Outfit: Played for Horror. Brandon's super outfit is a red cloth that's frayed at the bottom, and a balaclava stitched up at the front. The stitches, light grey against dark red, give the impression of a sideways mouth with lots of jagged teeth.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: While The Quiet One, Brandon's homicidal tendencies mean he is able to sneak up on others relatively easily.
  • Beware the Superman: Brandon has all the same powers as Superman, but unlike the big blue boy scout, Brandon seems intent on using them to terrorize and murder people.
  • Big Bad Slippage: The movie revolves around Brandon discovering his true origins and becoming the world's first supervillain.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Brandon says he wants to do good. Whether his version of good matches those of the Puny Earthlings is another matter.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: If you can solely credit his alien ship's disturbing influence on him as the reason behind him embracing his alien nature and homicidal tendancies.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Up to Eleven. Anyone who shows Brandon even an ounce of scorn is brutally murdered by him. Not even his parents are safe.
  • Cop Killer: Murders the police officers who come when Tori calls them after finding evidence that he is the killer in town.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: What Brandon's ship coupled with the bullying are slowly doing to him.
  • Corrupted Character Copy: He's clearly based on Superman, but with many of Superman's associated tropes being Played for Horror instead of anything cool or heroic.
  • Creepy Child: Becomes one when his powers start corrupting him. Even before then, he was brooding and unsociable.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Or Dad, or the cops. If you do (attempt to) reveal one of his murders, Brandon will come after you.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: As he embraces his darker impulses, Brandon can't stop indulging himself. Not that the actual boy wants to embrace it, it's his ship corrupting him.
  • Expy: Of Superman of course. Though his murderous tendencies make him more an expy of Superboy-Prime. Or, as The Stinger implies, of Ultraman. Brandon also merges elements of a variety of other horror movie antagonists, all played through the vein of a Superman Substitute.
    • Can also be seen as an Expy of Goku, who shares a lot similarity with Superman. Much like Goku, Brandon is sent by a race of Human Alien as a child with the intention of eventually conquering his adopted world. Unlike Goku, Brandon never forgets his true nature and ends up fulfilling his purpose.
  • Eye Beams: Brandon has heat/laser vision.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He never hurts a hair on his mom's head. Until she tried to mercy kill him.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: His mother considers finding him a gift. She and her husband raise him with love and tell him that he is meant to do great things. But then, even as Brandon becomes darker and twisted as he discovers his powers and starts to use them in violent ways, she still believes in him, despite increasing evidence of his instability as well as her husband's well justified fears.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In spite of being committed to "showing the world how superior he is" and fantasizing about destroying the planet, Brandon actively avoids letting his parents realize his true nature and keeps up a benign facade around them, at least at first. Only when they turn against him does he become hostile to them as well. Even when Brandon did kill his parents, it was because they tried to kill him first, and he looked genuinely shocked and heartbroken when they try to kill him before he murders them.
    • Noticeably, when Kyle tries to kill him, Brandon briefly looks hurt and upset, before quickly becoming homicidal.
  • Flying Brick: Brandon has the standard set of Superman-esque powers. He can fly, he has super strength, he's Nigh Invulnerable, and he can shoot laser beams from his eyes. Much of the movie's horror comes from just how terrifying powers like these would be in the real world if they fell into the wrong hands.
  • Human Aliens: Looks perfectly like an average young teenage boy, but he's anything but. Just like Superman.
  • In the Blood: Brandon was well aware of his evil, homicidal nature but loses. The bullying he just received just speeds it up. Of course most of that bullying was only received because he was acting in a obviously creepy manner.
  • In the Hood: Brandon finds a red piece of cloth and makes it into a creepy-looking tattered cape and hood, which entirely covers his face and makes him creepy.
  • Karma Houdini: After crushing an innocent girl's hand, killing his parents, the girl's mother, his uncle, 2 police officers, and crashing a plane full of people, he gets away with it all at the end of the movie.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The only thing that can hurt him is the ship he came in. Which he promptly destroys when it becomes an actual threat.
  • Lack of Empathy: Almost all of his reactions to various events gets a mere "okay" from him. Probably because he's an alien and has a lack of understanding human emotions.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: The only thing that can damage Brandon is debris from his ship. Once that's out of the way, Brandon is this.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: A disturbingly literal example; his parents happen upon his Porn Stash and find a few photos of sexy ladies in lingerie... and several diagrams of human organs and entrails. Best not to think what that's about...until it’s all thrown back into the open once Erica’s fate is revealed...
  • Power Floats: Among other superpowers, Brandon can fly. The film plays it like a horrifying thing and to be fair, seeing someone floating in the middle of the night is not exactly a reassuring sight. And seeing him just floating there is the only cue from him to run.
  • The Quiet One: He would rather prefer lurking and watching from the background than talking. He usually speaks when spoken to (and his voice rarely gets past a low tone unless he's angry), and rarely starts conversations by himself. This is a good thing for him, bad thing for people he murders, he's just that quiet to sneak up on others.
  • Red Baron: Brightburn. Although it's the name of the town, Brandon is labeled as such by a vlogger and the name gains traction as he terrorizes the world.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: As demonstrated in the page image, he has these while charging his Eye Beams.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Both Kyle and Tori Breyer end up dead by their adopted son's hands (or eye lasers, as the case may be).
    • Well, to be accurate Tori lived by his hands, letting go was what killed her.
  • The Sociopath: Has all of the calling cards. He has a major superiority complex, lacks empathy especially when he began to use his powers to murder others; fakes emotions one instance being when he pretended to have gotten into a scuffle with some bullies to explain where he was on the night his uncle died; felt no guilt for any of his problematic behavior; and is highly intelligent.
  • Stalker with a Crush: A girl in Brandon's class named Caitlyn seems to like him. He interprets that as giving him the right to go to her room at night and scare her.
  • Start of Darkness: Unsurprisingly, the movie's very premise is Brandon's descent into villainy.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: How he goes around most of the time. Makes sense, he usually moves when the person is distracted with something else and/or lights are off. Plus, there's also has his super speed. His uncle is the only one who catches him moving in action.
  • Superman Substitute: Played for Horror. Brandon was an okay kid up until he discovers he's a superpowered alien and the typical "you came here for a reason" speech that was given to Clark at that age he interprets as Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!. That, plus the alien ship he arrived in being a corrupting influence.
    Brandon: I learned something tonight, I'm very special. You're one of the few people that knows how special I am. But someday... they will all know.
  • Super Speed: In the blink of the eye, Brandon can fly a dozen meters instantly toward his next victim. He uses this both to Flash Step towards a target or to just turn the target into chunky salsa.
  • Take Over the World: Brandon is given a cryptic message to do this.
  • Tragic Villain: While Brandon's actions are inexcusable, if his homicidal transformation is solely due to his ship's corrupting influence, you can feel sympathy with the fact that Brandon may very well not have any say in what has happened to him, or that he never really did, due to the influence of his ship.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he kills his parents as retaliation for attempting to kill him.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Played With. Brandon was a normal little boy with a loving relationship with his parents before he discovered his powers. Both the parents and Brandon knew of the loving environment and care, but Brandon unfortunately falls completely to his alien nature anyway.
  • Villain Protagonist: He's the main character of the film, and the Big Bad to boot.
  • Walking Techbane: Brandon’s very presence when using his powers causes things like lights and electrical equipment to go haywire — sometimes explosively, as a poor waitress finds out.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Brandon becomes more cruel and terrifying once he discovers his powers. He may not have had a choice in the matter due to his ship.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Brandon is evil, for sure, but he's being corrupted by his genetics and, it's implied, controlled by his ship. While it's ambiguous how much of it is influence by his alien side, it's indicated that Brandon was, at least early on, a good, if creepy person, only to fall to his wicked ways.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Brandon breaks Caitlyn's right hand, kills her mother (which is also his first victim) and a female cop, and drops his mother to her death.
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    Kyle Breyer 

Kyle Breyer

Portrayed by: David Denman

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When he's at Brandon's mercy, he desperately tries to apologize and pleads for his life even after having just tried to kill him seconds prior.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Shoots Brandon in the back of the head while on a “hunting trip” with him. It doesn’t work and he has his head destroyed by Brandon's Eye Beams.
  • Eye Scream: Gets both his eyes melted by Brandon's Eye Beams after his failed attempt to kill him.
  • Good Parents: Both him and Tori are just as loving to their kid. Then Kyle finds out what is going on...
  • Hero Antagonist: Towards Brandon, the Villain Protagonist, especially when he rightfully becomes gradually suspicious of him and his questionable activities.
  • Mis-blamed: In-Universe for Noah's death, which is doubly ironic because A) Noah didn't die of driving drunk, B) Kyle actually had tried to keep Noah from driving at all, offering him a lift home after one more game of pool, and C) had Noah taken Kyle up on this, Merilee would have been murdered in their bed, as Noah's arrival interrupted Brandon's attempt.
  • Offing the Offspring: Subverted. He tries to do this, and it ultimately costs him his life.
  • Only Sane Man: He's the first to truly figure out something is wrong with Brandon and tries to kill him but fails.
  • Parental Betrayal: Brandon's the Big Bad, but his dad trying to kill him is this to him.
  • Properly Paranoid: He is justifiably concerned about Brandon and his powers.
  • Supernatural-Proof Father: How he starts at first, then he slowly becomes aware of what is happening to Brandon.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: His reaction to Brandon's crimes. It eventually gets him killed.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite being the Only Sane Man, he tries to shoot Brandon in a Hunting "Accident", knowing about his durability and other superpowers and not knowing about any weaknesses. It goes about as well as viewers would expect.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His actions accidentally trigger several disasters.
    • His attempt to give him "the talk" gets misinterpreted as giving Brandon the right to stalk his crush.
    • He lets Noah drive home after a few drinks; although he was actually sober enough to successfully drive home, the knowledge that he had drunk at all means that it's automatically assumed that Noah died due to drunk driving, making Brandon a Karma Houdini.
    • His attempt to give Brandon a Hunting "Accident" drives Brandon entirely mad, leading to him killing Kyle, a couple of police officers, and ultimately Tori as well.
  • Your Head Asplode: Brandon burns a gaping hole through Kyle’s head with his heat vision.

    Tori Breyer 

Tori Breyer

Portrayed by: Elizabeth Banks

  • Beyond Redemption: Ultimately decides that Brandon's reign of terror needs to end. Too bad for Tori that he stops her before she can do it.
  • Decoy Protagonist: She is a good person who is a main character who eventually realizes her son is dangerous and must to be stopped, but the character the film truly follows is the son himself.
  • Disney Villain Death: Inverted. Tori is a good person who ends up falling to her death.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: She still loves Brandon, and tries to get him to show the good still inside him. It's not enough to overcome his nature, and he kills her for it.
  • Good Parents: Both her and Kyle are just as loving to their kid.
  • Hero Antagonist: Towards Brandon, the Villain Protagonist, at the climax of the film.
  • Mama Bear: At one point, she makes it known she has no intention of letting anyone come between her and her son.
  • Morality Chain: She serves as this to Brandon. Brandon not once hurts a single hair on her, not even when brainwashed. It took her attempt to mercy kill him that he did the deed.
  • Offing the Offspring: Subverted. Tries to give Brandon a mercy kill knowing her actual son is gone for good against his nature. It gets her killed.
  • Parental Love Song: She and Brandon shares a small musical whistle in case one of them can't find the other.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Justified that Brandon hides the evidence of his murders to keep her from finding out what's going on.

Other Brightburn Residents

    Caitlyn Connor 
Portrayed by: Emmie Hunter

  • Alliterative Name: Both her given name and surname start with a "C".
  • Bullying a Dragon: Downplayed Trope. Caitlyn learns what happens when you insult an unstable kid with superpowers without evidence when Brandon breaks her hand after she calls him a creep in public for stalking her.
  • Expy: Of Lana Lang.
  • Hero Antagonist: Towards Brandon, the Villain Protagonist, when she chooses not to catch him during a trust exercise and insult him in public after getting stalked by him at night.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Caitlyn had a good reason not to catch Brandon during the trust exercise and insult him in public, as Brandon was indeed stalking her at night.
  • Romantic False Lead: Seems to be into Brandon at least a bit... then he starts stalking her, and it gets worse from there.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Not mentioned again after Brandon kills her mother. One planned scene would have shown her incredibly pissed off as she is undergoing surgery to get an robotic arm grafted on in a lab, clearly wanting revenge on Brandon.

    Erica Connor 
Portrayed by: Becky Wahlstrom

  • Adult Fear: Her daughter screams that there's an intruder in her room and when she enters it she finds nothing but an open window. The next day, the person Caitlyn claims broke in to her home breaks her hand.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Or in this case, a 12-year old alien boy.
  • Batter Up!: She tries to use a baseball bat as a weapon at the diner she works in. Of course, due to her eye getting hurt from a shard of glass, she can't strike the intruder aka Brandon.
  • Character Death: She is Brandon's first victim, as well as the first character to die in the film.
  • Eye Scream: Just before Brandon attacks Erica at the diner she works in, he causes an overhead light to flicker above her and explode. One of the shards of the bulb gets stuck in Erica's left eye, and she begins pulling it out, causing the eye to bleed.
  • Good Parents: For Caitlyn mostly. Most noticeably by the fact that, after asking her if she's sure of what she saw, she trusts Caitlyn when she says Brandon was stalking her at night despite never seeing Brandon herself.
  • Hero Antagonist: Towards Brandon, the Villain Protagonist, as she is just a Mama Bear who has every good reason to oppose Brandon after learning he's been stalking her daughter at night and then broke her arm.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: She is very abrasive and offensive towards Brandon and his parents after he breaks Caitlyn's hand. However, she is completely justified in being wary of Brandon, as he proves it by murdering her when he learns she doesn't want Caitlyn near him due to his violent tendencies. Noticeably she isn't hostile towards Brandon out of nowhere, but because she trusted Caitlyn when she told her he was spying on her at night.
  • Mama Bear: She is very protective of Caitlyn, especially when Brandon breaks her hand.
  • Never Found the Body: Literally; after Brandon attacks her, Erica's body is never found during the crime scene. Later on, it is revealed Brandon moved the body to the barn and crucified it in front of his ship, as Tori finds out.
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    Chief Deputy Deever 
Portrayed by: Gregory Alan Williams

    Noah 
Portrayed by: Matt Jones

  • Domestic Abuse: Implied. Berates his wife when she told him that giving a rifle to Brandon is not the smartest birthday gift, and leaves her when he's attacked by Brandon. It's hard to tell if the latter is just him not thinking straight, saving Brandon, actually leaving his wife, escaping Brandon, going to either Brandon's parents and/or the local authorities to warn them about the danger Brandon poses or all five.
  • Dull Surprise: His reaction to finding Brandon running in the closet to hide and finding him there after turning on the lights? Just a blank stare that lasts for a quick second then unmasking Brandon with an angry "What the fuck are you doing in there!". Possibly justified as he was drunk at the time.
  • Facial Horror: Gets his lower jaw torn off from slamming the steering wheel on his truck. He was alive for a few seconds, trying to reattach it despite sheer blood loss, then ultimately dies with the addition of shock, his lower jaw falling out of place.
  • Hero Antagonist: Towards Brandon, the Villain Protagonist, as his anger towards Brandon breaking and entering is completely justified and he may have left in his truck to alert either Brandon's parents or the police about him after getting shoved by the former with his superpowers.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Noah's anger towards Brandon when finding him in the bathroom's walk-in closet and then threatening to report to his parents for this troublemaking against the unapologetic Brandon's requests not to are justified considering Brandon was trespassing into his and his wife's home uninvited, thereby committing the crime of breaking and entering and the fact he was found hiding in the closet inside the bathroom doubles as an invasion of privacy which further justified Noah's anger. Noah did not deserve getting killed for that understandable and relatable reaction towards Brandon's misdeeds.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: A non-comedic reaction to Brandon flying.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction when Brandon unmasks himself after ripping off Noah's jaw. The added shock to Noah's major blood loss is what makes Noah finally die.
  • The Stoic: Most of his reactions to stuff that is not about his wife is very milder or not expected than the norm. Like so, his anger at suddenly finding Brandon in his closet instead of surprise that other people do.
  • Stunned Silence: He was making noises of pain when his jaw was torn off (actually groaning, but his barely reattached jaw makes it sounds like hissing). When Brandon unmasks himself, Noah stops making noises from the shock then dies.

The Stinger Walking Spoiler

     The Big T 
Portrayed by: Michael Rooker

An unnamed YouTube vlogger who comments on the actions of Brandon and other superpowered killers.


    *Spoiler Characters* 

Brandon's Fellow Supervillains/Injustice League

Mysterious figures that begin to appear alongside Brandon across the world as mentioned by a vlogger amongst a series of news reports on Brightburn.
  • Expy: Three of them (including Brandon) are a villainous version of members of the Justice League and its imply there're up to six of them mirroring the recent cinematic version of them. An argument can be made they're the closest we have to a film version of the Crime Syndicate.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Their existence is hinted at just once in the entire film (when Tori sees a photo online showing 6 bright objects in the sky the night Brandon’s ship arrived) and only get a brief mention literally in the final seconds of The Stinger. Who or what they are, where they came from, and what they want are completely unknown.
  • Superhero Prevalence Stages: A villainous one; their existence is widely believed to be a rumor, but they're just now getting noticed.

"Half Man Half Sea Creature"

An aquatic hybrid sinking ships in the South China Sea.

"Witch Woman"

A terrifying "witch woman" killing people with ropes and cords.

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