The Prodigy

by Hans A. Carpenter

Release Date: February 8, 2019

Director: Nicholas McCarthy

Starring: Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, and Colm Feore

Mister Marquee Says: Prodigy? More like “D” Student

Number: 1/5

Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) is an eight-year-old with a genius intellect. He also has a malignant spirit residing within him. His parents must find a way to help Miles and get their baby back before he does something horrible.

The Prodigy? More like “The ‘D’ Student”. This is an exceptionally average horror movie. It’s watchable, it’s coherent, but it’s ever-so-mildly tweeted premise isn’t enough to make it stand out among the 10 billion or so “evil kid” movies out there. I don’t feel bad spoiling the serial killer twist because it’s spoiled by the trailer and the first five minutes of the movie. No, seriously, the first scene lets the cat out of the bag. Why not have ambiguity as to what’s wrong with Miles and reveal the truth later? It robs the first half of the movie of all tension. Instead of being engrossed in the mystery of what was wrong with Miles, or empathizing with his parents as they’re stuck in the unknown wondering what is happing to their child, we know, and as a result don’t care.

When the revelations about the spirit’s identity come, it has no impact whatsoever because we went into the movie knowing full well what was happening. Imagine if the Sixth Sense twist had been blown in the first scene, and we were expected to care when the big reveal happened. Oh yeah, and the genius intellect, the one the movie gets the title from, it doesn’t matter at all. Not even a little bit. I guess you can argue it makes Miles more dangerous for his parents to deal with, but really wouldn’t any adult, regardless of brainpower, in a child’s body be a threat considering that adults would let their guard down around a child?

You know what, when I started this review The Prodigy was a “C” student. After really diving into the mechanics of why I felt nothing in this movie, and why I find it so unmemorable, this movie is more of a “D” student. The atmosphere is fine, and the acting is decent, but a poor structure and a tired story knee-cap any good Director Nicholas McCarthy and his cast bring to the table. Just watch the trailer, it’s the best scene in the movie any way.

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