THE PRODIGY REVIEW
Starring: Taylor Schilling and Jackson Robert Scott
Directed By: Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact)
Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes
This type of movie has been done hundreds of times before.Probably the best version of the “child possessed” story is The Omen or The Exorcist.This time our main character, a boy around the age of eight is exceeding the other kids in school.He’s smarter and naturally gifted.After a series of eerie happenings at home, his parents learn what we learned in the opening scene of the movie.Miles is possessed.We spend the remainder of the movie trying to rid Miles of his demon and save his soul.
It’s a tired genre, and The Prodigy certainly doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it does competently tell its story.Lacking mystery and suspense because we, as the audience, have been given the intel in the opening scene, and have also seen this movie done countless times beforehand.We know the beats it’s going to play before we even walk in to the theater.Again, that’s OK.The Prodigy doesn’t aim to reinvent the wheel.It’s happy living in that space between good and bad.It’s warm and cozy, feels familiar.
Taylor Schilling from Orange is the New Black stars as a mother who would do anything to save her son.And after a shaky start, Schilling settles into the role and does a really sound job by movie’s end.Our demon baby, Miles, played by Jackson Robert Scott is effective as a creepy kid.He owns the screen when he’s on it.Unsettling at times even when you know exactly what’s about to happen.He’s calm, mild-mannered.Convincing us all that he blacked out as the killings happen.
Pro tip.If you decide to see this movie and are confused about what’s happening, don’t worry.Whenever the doctor is on screen, it’s his job to deliver exposition.He’ll sum up everything that’s happening for you.If you’re lost, just wait for the doctor to rear his head.He’ll guide you back.There isn’t a lot to get confused about, which is why I found the doctor character so entertaining.He’s summing up things that we are WELL aware of.Just in case.
The Prodigy offers a fun trip for die-hard fans of the horror genre.Casual fans won’t find much here to enjoy.I had a fun time.I had a theater to myself.I was telling characters not to go through that door, and not to do the things they ended up doing.It’s a well-made film, and I think that covers up a lot of the writing flaws the movie had.More of a psychological thriller than gory horror movie.I enjoyed myself, even though the actual movie is pretty mediocre, and ventures into infuriating in the final 20 minutes.
On a scale of "See It/ Stream It /Skip It", Stream It if you’re a big fan of the genre, otherwise Skip It.Rent The Omen instead.
If you liked The Omen, The Exorcist, or Poltergeist you might like The Prodigy
2 out of 5 stars.Competent, not lousy.But not that compelling either.