Bad movies (Dracula: Untold and Brightburn Review)

Sometimes you even wonder how lazy movie scripts can be – how are they generally said? A couple of days ago I watched two seemingly very different stories: “Brightburn” and “Dracula: Untold“.

“Brightburn” movie poster.

Первая – остроумная на уровне идеи, но не исполнения, зарисовка на тему “Что, если бы Супермен вырос злобным и всесильным подростком-убийцей”. Сюжет очень простой: милая пара из Элизабет Бэнкс и бывшего парня Пэм из “Офиса” хочет ребеночка, но не получается; зато они находят его в капсуле после падения метеорита. Парнишка вырастает, но с пубертатом в нем просыпается ЗЛО, которому он не может противостоять, – и начинается дикая немотивированная жесть с убийствами близких по смехотворным причинам.

“Dracula: Untold” movie poster.

The second story is a reimagined story of the formation of the most famous vampire; in this version, he is a real-life prince of Wallachia Vlad Tepes, but for some reason abandoned his sadistic habits after Turkish captivity and quietly and peacefully ruling his principality with his beautiful wife and son, until the evil Ottomans get to the bottom of him and he is forced to turn for the supernatural help to an ancient creature living in a nearby cave.

What do these films have in common? Disgusting, albeit in different ways, script and meaninglessness of the story leading to a potential sequel. “Dracula” is filmed within the crumbling “Monster Universe” Universal (remember the time when Marvel’s “Avengers” just came out and everyone also wanted to build their own universes?) Studio Universal really wanted to revive their cult monsters, famous in the Hammer 1950 films – x, so she began to think over a series of films connected by a common world and characters. The film “The Mummy” with Tom Cruise and Sophia Boutella was launched, it was planned to shoot “The Invisible Man” with Johnny Depp, and the story was to be preceded by “Dracula” with Luke Evans. Only no one, it seems, thought to find an answer to the question: “Why the heck does anyone need this?”

Seriously. We watch films and have the right to expect interesting and psychologically reliable characters, with their own drama and conflicts. The Noble Muscular Hero does everything in an amicable way, kills bad people in beautiful poses and rescues a silently clapping beautiful woman to the accompaniment of unnatural special effects, a little outdated already in the 2000s, isn’t it? And then, the obsessive leitmotif “This is all just the beginning, everything will be even more interesting in the second film” annoys and devalues ​​the story. I don’t need a cool second film later, I need a good one now. With normal, and not stripped down to the aphorisms of a third grader, dialogues. It seems that you can take quotes from such films and put them on pictures with wolves – no one will notice the difference. “People don’t need heroes, sometimes they need monsters …” Well, e-my, what wisdom!

So it is with “Burn, burn clearly.” The film just plays with the theme of “Difficult (haha) sadistic child with demonic abilities”, but does not reveal the details. We can assume why this spaceship arrived on Earth, why the creature in it looks so much like a human child, why would potential alien conquerors need it at all and how they did it – but we will not get answers, because the authors of the story have enough: “And let’s make a movie about an evil teenage superman with blood and guts, cool life. ” They take the myth, change the plus for the minus, but do not work it out in any way – and this is especially bad, given that the myth of the kind flying man in red shorts itself has become very old and does not seem to correspond to the spirit of the times. And one more thing: you will laugh, but judging by the cheerful shots after the evil ending, “Burn …” was supposed to be the beginning of its series of films. Expansion of the universe – okay, other evil children with demonic powers – okay, but then again, why the heck did I watch all this if the story of the film itself doesn’t tell anything sensible? The boy grew up kind, his foolish parents did not throw out his space cradle, it turned on in the basement and made him angry, he killed everyone and asserted himself, the end of the film. No reflection, mental throwing … a completely flat character – like everyone else. Even if the film is genre and is intended to scare you to goosebumps, the characters must be convincing and more or less deep, at least a couple of features.

In short, a screenwriter is an important and difficult job. It seems to me that these two films perfectly show how important it is to refine and deepen stories (and not cut off everything unnecessary), to make them non-standard and unusual, to bring the matter to the end, not being guided by the same templates that worked ten years ago. Time changes, we change.

Stories should too.

You probably shouldn’t do this, but if you want to get acquainted with these films yourself, you can do it here: