Brightburn (15)**

Dir: David Yarovesky

With: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A Dunn

Runtime: 90 minutes

THOSE pesky superheroes, eh? Forever flying around, exercising their powers for the good of humankind, rescuing cities even as they leave them in ruins.

Brightburn takes a more, er, creative approach to the genre, though you may be left thinking it should not have bothered.

Tori and Kyle Breyer (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman) live in the small town of Brightburn in Kansas. He’s a farmer and she produces spectacularly awful paintings.

The two have been desperate to start a family, but have had no luck. Then along comes a dark and stormy night in which a mystery object falls to earth. What do you know, said object contains a baby, which the pair love and raise as their own, telling the town they have adopted a child.

Young Brandon (Jackson A Dunn) is as sweet a son as any parent could wish for. He's smart, kind, applies himself at school. Everything seems to have turned out for the little family, mom'scomplete lack of artistic skill and judgment aside.

But then Brandon turns 12 and strange things start to happen. What is behind his sudden intensity? Why the sudden obsession with something in the barn?

It’s every man, woman and 15 and over for themselves at that point as the story, written by Brian and Mark Gunn, proceeds to go to some very strange places indeed. One of the many problems with the film is that there is no-one, outside of Tori, at a push, to root for. If we don’t care for the characters we don’t care about them.

Banks, watchable as ever, keeps the show on the road longer than it merits. Known in the main for her comedy work, the Pitch Perfect star shows herself no slouch when it comes to horror, running terrified with the best of them. But even she cannot rescue a story as daft as this.

Yet what do you know. Come the end, the writers have the audacity to leave the door open to another instalment. Stranger things have happened.