Main cast: Taylor Schilling (Sarah Blume), Jackson Robert Scott (Miles Blume), Paul Fauteux (Edward Scarka), Colm Feore (Arthur Jacobson), Brittany Allen (Margaret St James), Peter Mooney (John Blume), Oluniké Adeliyi (Rebecca), Elisa Moolecherry (Zoe), and Paula Boudreau (Elaine Strasser)
Director: Nicholas McCarthy
The Prodigy is another formulaic creepy child movie, and sadly, it’s the only new movie this week in the cinema of my neighborhood. Sigh. I wasn’t expecting much when I reluctantly decided to watch it as part of my weekly movie night – have to get out of the house to catch some fresh air, after all – and still it manages to disappoint me in the end. Just lovely.
The problem here is that everything is laid out by the first half hour or so, hence there is little suspense in the rest of the film. Basically, serial killer Edward Scarka is shot to death by the cops one night, and at another part of the country, Sarah Blume gives birth to her son Miles at the exact time of Edward’s death. Gee, I wonder what will happen next.
Eight years later, Miles begins to exhibit the usual creepy killer child behavior – injuring the babysitter, attacking other kids, talking in a strange language while asleep, et cetera – and of course Sarah isn’t sure what to believe while her husband John is the skeptical one. And so forth, until psychologist Elaine Strasser and her colleague Arthur Jacobson realize that Miles is muttering Hungarian in his sleep, and he’s saying most charmingly, “I’ll cut your eyes out and watch you die, whore.” Maybe he learned that from watching one of those Fortnite videos on YouTube…
By this point, Sarah slowly catches up with what every member of the audience already knows ages ago: Edward’s soul has found a home in Miles’s body, and he is slowly taking over the kid. Judging from his language, he’s likely going to catch up with his last victim, who managed to escape in the opening scene of this movie, and we all know how efficient killers eight-year olds can be. If you think Sarah is going to go the smart thing, think again. The rest of the movie will see her do stupid yet reprehensible things in the name of love – which may be understandable if her reasoning for her action was completely baseless.
In other words, The Prodigy is a typical, familiar demon child movie, only it is a suspense-free one because everyone watching this movie from the beginning already knows everything that the adult characters don’t, and when the adults finally catch up, it’s a race to the stupid farm. Far from what its title would suggest, this one is more of an underachiever in the scares department. People who want movies of this sort may as well look up The Omen.
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