Movies

Review: Revealing the bad seed of reincarnation

The Prodigy

Director: Nicholas McCarthy

Cast: Taylor Schilling, Brittany Allen, Jackson Robert Scott

Studio: Orion Pictures

4/5

Much like Dr. Elaine Stasser (Paula Boudreau) and Arthur Jacobson (Colm Feore) explain in the film, The Prodigy, reincarnation has been around for quite some time either through Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.

But it’s not just exclusive to those belief systems.

Reincarnation is, however, frowned upon in Western beliefs; perhaps suppressed by the cloak of Christianity that likes to null and void anything remotely heathen in its origins.

And naturally it is scoffed at by The Prodigy‘s protagonist, Sarah (Taylor Schilling), who begins to suspect there is something uncanny about her son Miles, a hetero-chromatic child prodigy who speaks a Hungarian dialect in his sleep.

This plays into the theme of reincarnation, which is on the periphery of many in society. The theme pops up every so often in films like Cloud Atlas, Dead Again and The X-Files episode “Lazarus”.

The latter example is what flashed in my wind while following the story of a serial killer who is offed by police at the same time that Miles is born. In that Season 1 episode, Scully’s ex-boyfriend is shot during a bank robbery and dies the same time the bank robber dies. The result is two souls

In a blatant show of reincarnation of the negative, the same bullet spray pattern on the chest of the naked killer is shown in the amniotic and blood pattern on the newborn Miles.

One would have to believe in the idea that the soul is breathed into a child upon delivery into the world, which in and of itself is dangerous territory.

This is remedied by Jacobson’s explanation that two souls are competing for one body.

But what’s more dangerous, and plays on the fears of parents the world over, is that a deceased serial killer has now inhabited the body of a child.

Either at the surface, or bubbling beneath the exterior, is the fear what if a parent does not do a good job at rearing their young? To have a serial killer as a grown child signifies something going wrong in the more formulative years.

Because in a world where the Court of Public Opinion reigns supreme, especially among the angry hordes of social media, the parents will be the first to be blamed on social media.

But not everyone had an unhealthy relationship with their mother, akin to Ed Gein.

In an eerie moment shared between Sarah and Miles after she has a bad dream involving the spirit inside her son’s body, Mile posits a portentous question, “Mommy, will you love me, no matter what I do?”

This underscores the aforementioned fear, and through the guidance of Jacobson she leads her spirit-riddled son right to the final development: The reason why a spirit returns is unfinished business.

Given this is a serial killer, and the reason for his discovery was because his 10th victim got away, one can add it up.

There is no Hollywood ending, which leads one to believe that if there is enough success with this film, we could see a sequel, with the heterochromatic antagonist pursuing his previous life’s work much like Damien did in The Omen franchise.

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