Film Review: Indigo Children

Dull contemplation of supernaturally talented kids.
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Young Mark (Robert Olsen) suddenly finds himself the object of the steadily unwavering gaze of a new girl in his small town, Christina (Isabelle McNally), one particularly pastoral summer. It becomes apparent that she has sought him out because he, like her, is one of the special "indigo children," youthful beings supposedly possessed of supernatural powers. The two spend their days talking and walking about their sylvan country setting, gradually falling in love. But dark forces, like their shared pasts, not to mention a couple of tragic deaths and a mysterious disappearance, threaten to wreck their little blissed-out utopia.

Ah, mumblecore, mumblecore, when will you end? Writer-director Eric Chaney works overtime to make this quiveringly sensitive emo-fest deeply affecting but, as with so many entries in this genre, the unalloyed narcissism and navel-gazing, uncoupled with anything resembling vivid, interesting writing, dooms it to utter ennui.  Enraptured by nature's beauty, Chaney's often woozily handheld camera fixates on butterflies hovering over hydrangeas, deserted railroad tracks, bucolic fields beneath sunny skies and McNally’s Fiona Apple face, as if in a desperate attempt to visually flesh out his wan, thin plotline. And for all the blather about indigo capabilities, at no time do we ever really see evidence of any supernal power, unless it's the power to bore us. Christina's explication to Mark is also not very helpful: "We're orphaned souls who belong to one another. We're very smart and intelligent and very powerful. We tend up to end up close to each other just by chance."

Olsen is a largely stoic sufferer throughout, while McNally natters away like a New Age Liza Minnelli in The Sterile Cuckoo. Here's a random sampling of her supposedly enchanting rants, pocked as they are with the reprehensible use of the word "like": "I can tell you're an indigo by your eyes: They're clear… I like how your hands are soft, like a girl's… Ever wonder about moss? Like how does it get there? I'm jealous. I wish my whole house was covered by it… My house burned down in Pennsylvania. Strange thing is I still think about it. It was cool watching it burn… Fire and smoke have a way of like ending things, like clearing things up so we can keep going."

Forget these too-sweet, gentle and altogether stultifying indigo children, and give me those weirdly gifted kids who really did something about the suffocatingly scary world they lived in, like that weird little Damien in The Omen, or Sissy Spacek in Carrie and Amy Irving in The Fury.