The Innocents

Director: Eskil Vogt
Year Released: 2021
Rating: 1.5

Nine-year-old Ida (Rakel Lenora Fløttum) moves with her parents and autistic sister Anna (Alva Brynsmo Ramstad) to a new town where they befriend Aisha (Mina Yasmin Bremseth Asheim) and a boy named Benjamin (Sam Ashraf), who "awakens" their superpowers, like telekinesis and mind control ... except he chooses to use it for evil.  At first I thought it was trying to explore how kids are cruel to one another and nature itself (Ida puts broken glass in Anna's shoe, Ben drops his cat from a staircase and then crushes its head) but no, it's considerably less nuanced than that (and without higher aspirations), attempting to be a slightly artier - and not nearly as entertaining - movie version of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things.  A little more information on Ben's background (or, while we're at it, anyone else's) would have helped explain his cruelty streak: as I learned taking classes in Criminology, children who harm animals and feel no remorse are some of the ones to keep an eye on.