Movie: ‘The Prodigy’

By John Mulderig

NEW YORK (CNS) — Grown moviegoers with a strong tolerance for mayhem will learn from the edgy creepy-kid tale “The Prodigy” (Orion), if they didn’t already know it, that the technical term for having different colored eyes is heterochromia.

Jackson Robert and Taylor Schilling star in a scene from the movie “The Prodigy.” The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (CNS photo/MGM)

More to the point, along with his mismatched peepers, Miles (Jackson Robert Scott), the gifted 8-year-old boy on whom the action centers, also has two conflicting personalities.

Disturbed and bewildered by the darker side of his persona, Miles’ caring parents, Sarah (Taylor Schilling) and John (Peter Mooney), place him under the care of a psychiatrist, Dr. Elaine Strasser (Paula Boudreau). She — improbably enough — eventually brings in an expert on reincarnation, Arthur Jacobson (Colm Feore).

As the audience already knows, Miles was born on the same day that a serial killer, Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux), was gunned down by police. Edward, so it seems, has made a comeback.

Though it reaches a bloody climax, director Nicholas McCarthy’s chiller is mostly restrained in its depiction of aggression and effective in unsettling viewers. Mature fans of the genre will easily dismiss all the solemnly delivered hooey about migrating souls for the nonsense it is and settle in for the shivers.

The film contains occult themes, some graphic gory violence, gruesome images, partial male nudity, at least one use of profanity, a couple of rough terms and a few crude expressions. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' news and information service.

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