- Brittany AllenJackson Robert Scott...
- Nicholas McCarthy
- In 1 Cinema
Of all prepartum fears, giving birth to a violent killer has to top the list. The Prodigy follows new parents Sarah (Taylor Schilling) and John Blume (Peter Mooney) who just had a baby boy, Miles (Jackson Robert Scott). As Miles grew up, they discovered he is a lot smarter than other kids his age, which was a major thrill, until the boy started to exhibit violent behaviour. Luring his sitter into a trap and hitting his classmate with a wrench led mother Sarah to the conclusion that there is something very wrong with Miles. When a doctor specialized in reincarnation (Colm Feore) tells Sarah that the soul of a violent killer is trying to take over her son’s body, Sarah has to decide what lengths she is willing to go to save her son. The Omen (1976) is that you? Yes, it almost is. The kid even has a similar pale face.
On one hand, the plot is straightforward and easy enough to follow, and the pace of the film leaves no adequate room for boredom. On the other hand, the film does not delve into its characters’ personas. Indeed, a major aspect was missing: having audiences sympathize with Miles. He is a child, he is doing awful things, but he has no recollection of them, and he is constantly losing his consciousness. The character would have been much more interesting if the audience struggled between hating and sympathizing with Miles, instead of just wishing he would die.
Like most modern horror movies, The Prodigy relied heavily on jump scares, but some of them were very predictable. There are, however, some pretty creepy scenes like when Miles crawls into bed with his mother and his hand slowly moves over her shoulder; the audience do not know whether he is going to hug her or choke her.
Much of the horror came from the actors themselves; Taylor Schilling gave a very compelling performance, especially by the very end of the film where her struggle peaked. Schilling was able to use subtle, but evocative, facial expressions. She successfully managed to communicate her character’s fear to the audience. Jackson Robert Scott was a bit behind, with some creepy stares here and there; he is somewhat memorable. Peter Mooney and Colm Feore both had much smaller roles, but both were compelling enough to pull off their roles.
The Prodigy isn’t that innovative new horror flick true horror fans are looking for but, if that doesn’t bother you, then The Prodigy is entertaining enough for a night out with friends.