[Review] The Prodigy (2019)
The Prodigy – Sarah (Taylor Schilling) and John Blume (Peter Mooney) are thrilled when their young son Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) starts to show signs of rapid development and extreme intelligence. Their family bliss soon turns into a living nightmare when Miles starts to show signs of disturbing behavior and becomes increasingly erratic and violent by his eighth birthday. After seeking help from two experts, Sarah is horrified to learn that her beloved prodigy may be under the grip of a dark and supernatural force.
The Prodigy is about a young boy that shows signs of advanced intelligence and an extremely high pain threshold, but also signs of more sinister issues. After many years of failed attempts to conceive a child, the Blume couple finally gets the happiness and the one thing they have always been wanting when conception finally becomes possible for them. And even more excitedly, after a few months of being born, Miles begins to show impressive signs of being a child genius, hence the title, The Prodigy. As Miles grows older he also seems to exhibit intellectual abilities exceeding those of other children.
However, mysterious things start to happen and the massive change in his behavior becomes even more evident, the religious beliefs and myths come to play and the film becomes even more intriguing. He also begins to display increasingly sinister behavior and homicidal tendencies. During many scenes, the viewer actually finds himself experiencing a sense of dread at what might be revealed during the following scene. One thing I would love to have revealed is the infamous scene that was supposedly edited or re-shot that had been mentioned. It seems the test audience disclosed that the scene was so terrifying the filmmakers had to either edit it or re-shoot it. I’m lost on that part.
Anyway, when Sarah finally agrees to have Miles tested, nothing of importance comes out of the research results. It’s only when a spiritual researcher comes in a discovers that two different souls could be living inside of Miles. Miles is suspected of having his own soul and the soul of a reincarnated person who has not yet finished his life on earth.
This soul belongs to a malicious 57-year-old man who tries to find and kill his escaped victim. Sarah is now faced with the huge choice of to either help the evil soul and get her son back or to simply have him locked away in a special institution so that the evil soul cannot do any damage to the world.
Prodigy tries really hard to put a new spin on an old story, which I feel they did for the most part, but it was still very predictable, basically from the beginning and around every turn if I must be honest. Every single twist you can see coming from a mile away. I mean, it’s clear from the start that he’s a reincarnated serial killer who’s looking to finish off that one last victim who got away.
The sad thing about that is, it’s not clearly explained how the reincarnation has happened in the first place, it’s simply stated that it is reincarnation without any further explanation. Still, like I already stated, it is an effective and very creepy horror film, even if you’ve most likely seen a lot of it before in other movies.
The story itself is great. The acting is very well done, especially from the child actor, the same boy that played Georgie in the horror film “IT,” I almost believe he had a real grown man dwelling inside of him. The mom, Taylor Schilling was good too, they both carried this movie as far as I’m concerned. Very suspenseful, with some good jump scares and a few well-shot scenes that felt deeply disturbing.
Overall this is a great horror movie with a lot of unique plot twists; well directed and produced, highly entertaining, with only a few silly scenes where the characters made some awful decisions here or there. The ending also leaves you excited to see if there will be a sequel!
Title: The Prodigy
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
Studio: Orion Pictures
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Brittany Allen, Jackson Robert Scott
MPAA Rated: R
Directors: Nicholas McCarthy
Reviewed by: Kathryn Price
Our Rating: 3.4 /5
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