The Prodigy (2019)

the prodigy poster 2019 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Some decent jumps and cast

Story is too derivative of other horror movies

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Prodigy

Studio: Orion Pictures

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): February 8, 2019

MPAA Rating: R

the prodigy miles killer face scene

Sometimes I think Miles isn’t the little boy I gave birth to…

Sarah Blume (Taylor Schilling) and her husband John (Peter Mooney) have been wanting to have a child for years.  When Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) is born, it feels like a miracle which is further proven when Miles shows an immense intelligence.  Something is wrong with Miles, and Miles sometimes doesn’t seem to be himself.  As Miles’ behavior gets more and more dangerous, Sarah realizes something is inside her son…and it could be tied to a serial killer named Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux) who died years before.

Directed by Nicholas McCarthy, The Prodigy is a horror thriller.  The movie was released to average reviews and so-so return at the box office.

Creepy kid movies always score higher in my book.  They are fun and often if they aren’t scary they are so campy that they are funny.  The Prodigy is really derivative but it still has fun movies.  Due to the subject of the movie, a ******spoiler alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

the prodigy taylor schilling running scene peter fauteux

Oh, Miles…you always get me with that “change body” trick.

The Prodigy is essentially a mash-up of The Exorcist and The Omen.  You have a boy possessed from birth who is slowly losing the battle to what is inside of him.  You have Taylor Schilling essentially taking the Gregory Peck role of the parent who believes her child could potentially be evil.  There are some twists and turns, but the movie largely goes (and ends) with what you expect…with an almost Primal Fear twist.  The whole movie faces the problem of if they survive, how will they explain their actions?

Taylor Schilling leaves her Orange Is the New Black role for the frustrated mother, but her character does seem to make the jump a little easier than I expected her to once she decides he is possessed.  Peter Mooney is almost a non-character as the father which is a shame.  Unlike something like The Exorcist where the father was missing, it would have been good to see him a bit more involved in the story (especially since they gave the character a backstory of abuse).  Jackson Robert Scott is pretty effective as the creepy possessed Miles (but I thought the two colored eye aspect was a bit chintzy).

the prodigy ending miles killer jackson robert scott

…and creepy kid goes in for the kill!

The movie does have some decent scares and builds some suspense.  Scenes like Miles running toward his mother and becoming Scarka and his face changing are pretty good jumps, but scenes involving the dog’s death also provide tension and suspense due to the horror.  I just wish the story was a bit stronger to support it.

The Prodigy is a bit better than I was led to believe, but it still doesn’t reach high horror.  It is a fun enough ride (and short enough) that it is a decent time killer especially if you watched it with a group.  With an ending very reminiscent of The Omen, I could see The Prodigy II coming out (but maybe as something on Netflix or another streaming service).

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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