Movie Review: The Prodigy (2019)

Directed by Nicholas McCarthy, The Prodigy is a 2019 horror film. When Sarah (Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black) and John (Peter Mooney) give birth to Miles (Jackson Robert Scott, the unfortunate catalyst kid in 2017’s IT), it soon becomes clear that Miles is gifted. When Miles turns eight, Sarah starts to think there is something more supernatural going on, as her son begins to show violent tendencies.

+ generally, I don’t find children in horror movies scary, but something about Miles just being so smart made this really unsettling. A lot of that goes to Jackson Robert Scott’s portrayal. Schilling is great too, as the mother who doesn’t want to believe her child may be more than they appear
+ while unfortunately punctuated with jump scares (and as below, the cliched kind) there are a few genuine intense moments, for example a chilling monologue from Miles opposite a therapist played by Colm Feore. One or two more subtle moments (though still technically jump scares, I guess) are done really well, where you’ll question what you saw just that little bit
+ I’m sure one little audio motif will stick in your head for hours, as it did me (and it makes sense in the plot — double bonus!). I have not yet listened through the soundtrack to find the name of it, but you’ll know it when you hear it

– the story is very predictable, and super cliched. In fact, as I watched I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to various parts of at least a half-dozen other horror franchises, unnamed here as to avoid obvious spoilers

Should you see this film: This movie is nothing groundbreaking and may well be all style over substance, but the performances from Schilling and especially young Jackson Robert Scott make this a fun watch for any horror fan.


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