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The Prodigy Movie Review

Written by Becky Roberts

Released by Vertigo Releasing

The Prodigy Large

Directed by Nicholas McCarthy
Written by Jeff Buhler
2019, 92 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
Release date: 15th March (UK)

Starring:
Taylor Schilling as Sarah Blume
Jackson Robert Scott as Miles Blume
Peter Mooney as John Blume
Paul Fauteau as Esward Scarka
Colm Feore as Arthur Jacobson

Review:

The terrors of child-rearing raise their head in horror again as Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact, At The Devil's Door) traverses child possession and serial killer plains in his third genre film.

Sarah (Orange Is the New Black star Taylor Shilling) and her husband (Peter Mooney) realise that their young son Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) has above-average intellect at an early age. But after he starts showing signs of gross social inadequacy and violence, they soon discover that his body is hosting a reincarnated soul - the soul of a serial killer with unfinished business to attend to.

The Prodigy 01 The Prodigy 02

There are flashes of genius in both Jeff Buhler’s screenplay (2019’s Pet Sematary) and McCarthy’s execution in what is largely a subgenre-spanning, The Omen-meets-every-supernatural-child-killer-film effort.

Jackson Robert Scott, who stole hearts as Georgie in 2017’s IT, plays such a role as creepily and confidently as has been seen on-screen, nailing that dark-eyed, wry-smiled facial transition with the effortless efficacy of James McAvoy in Split. And Shilling’s committed horror debut as a doting concerned mother, and then strong-willed fighter, should – and no doubt will – see her take on future genre roles.

The Prodigy 03 The Prodigy 04

Ultimately though, The Prodigy is like a sandwich of bare lettuce leaves between fresh focaccia - top and tailed with brilliance but pitifully let down by a lacklustre filling.

The opener cleverly sets out the genre fusion by pitching parallel narratives - the serial killer’s death alongside the simultaneous birth of Miles. But that promising originality is both shortlived and underplayed, and its potential unfulfilled, as The Prodigy resorts to toeing the line of the common demon child narrative, and falling hard to predictable genre tropes that don’t bring anything new to the table.

The Prodigy 05

You can see around every corner before turning it, and while a surprisingly left-field, rewardingly cruel final act harks back to the creativity teased in the pre-credit sequence, it isn't quite worth the hour of formulaic fodder that comes before it.

Grades:

Movie: Twoandahalfstars The Prodigy Small
Buy Amazon Uk

About The Author
Becky Roberts
Staff Writer
Becky has devoured horror and grown particularly interested in Foreign and Asian genre films (and has written a 12,000 word dissertation on it if anyone's up for a bit of light reading!) She is now a blogger of horrorble films and a journalist, and reviews and reports on horror in nine tenths of her spare time. It is no lie that she enjoys the events with free drinks the most.
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