A long-explored idea in film is that of kids or teenagers having super-powers.  Chronicle, to be released on February 3, is the latest to explore the attractive notion of a run-of-the-mill teenager becoming extra-special. Starring relatively unknown actors, Chronicle is the story of three high school friends who become superhuman after an “incredible discovery.” Said discovery soon leads to their lives spinning wildly out of control, with the film exploring their bond as “they embrace their darker sides.” This Josh Trank directed film—his first, according to IMDB—doesn’t seem so unique. But it does beg the question of how it might compare to some of the other “Kids With Superpowers” films. Arguably, there are the Carrie and X-Men archetypes. But rather than focus upon the better-known films, I think we could all benefit—read: everyone who hasn’t seen them—from a thorough examination of the lesser-knowns of the pseudo-genre.

First up, Ladies and Gents? A brutally overlooked little film called The Covenant (2006). As a native-New Englander, this movie holds a warm place in my heart. Directly inspired by the Salem witch trials, The Covenant follows four young—expectedly, gorgeous—men who harbor a supernatural legacy. Though they don’t come into their “full” powers until their eighteenth birthday, The Covenant examines their struggle against a fifth power thought to have died in the Witch Trials—my inner history buff is already salivating. With a cast that features Chace Crawford before he became a pansy known as Nate Archibald and the blonde-bombshell from She’s The Man, Laura Ramsay, The Covenant is simultaneously dark and sexy. It’s a really cool look at the New England families that history left behind when the Kennedys came along. Though it’s a tad laughable at times—the spider-motif is a bit hammered—it’s fun and interesting enough to deserve a spot on my glorified list-of-sorts.

I can hear your laughter from a mile away, my friends. But, don’t fret. I’ll remain confident in my following choice. Sky High (2005). With supporting cast members Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston, Sky High follows the precarious balance that Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) must maintain while trying to be a normal teenager and superhero-in-training… at a high school for the children of superheroes. You got that, right? Kelly Preston and Kurt Russell—and a cameo from the original Wonder Woman—act as the superhero parents of an awkward teenager as a superhero high school. Beyond sounding like the most perfectly thought out concept in history, this movie is charming and hilarious. Angarano and his love-interest, Danielle Panabaker, are incredibly charismatic and the story is surprisingly intelligent for a film that could so easily fall into crazy-town. You have to see to believe, dear readers.

Besides for my absolute love for the two above films, the kids-as-superheroes idea has spawned quite the number of disappointments. The first to come to my mind? Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Beyond being ABSOLUTELY ABSURD, I rank this as one of the worst solely because of Jon Voight’s terrifying involvement. Also worthy of note because of their utter absurdity? I Am Number 4, and The Craft—though that last one holds a small place of warmth in my stone-cold heart… I love you Neve.

For every I Am Number 4, though, there’s a Kick Ass or a Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which makes it plausible that the ever-used adage is true—you really do have to suffer through the blonde bombshells cast as outcast, superhero-aliens (the bad) to get to the tight-knit New England families descended from Salem witches (the good). Though the tenacity and success of Chronicle is yet to be determined, its release certainly marks a continued interest in the normal-kid-becomes-superhuman genre. And as a lover of all things superhero, I can’t help but applaud.