MOVIE MANIAC reviews The Prodigy

Jacob Ward, Staff Writer

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The Prodigy is a new horror film from the producers of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Based on the trailers for this film, I thought it was going to be a cliché and maybe slightly creepy story about a little possessed boy. However, the film took a surprising and unexpected turn that I wasn’t expecting.

The film follows a couple, Sarah and John Blume, and at the beginning of the film, Sarah gives birth to their son, Miles. As Miles grows up, he shows rapid development and extreme intelligence, the couple is thrilled. At Miles’ eighth birthday he started showing signs of increasingly erratic and violent behavior, and Sarah seeks out an expert to help figure out what’s wrong with her son. That’s all I’ll say because if you want to see this movie the rest should be a surprise like it was for me.

The film really only has four main characters. The boy, Miles, played by Jackson Robert Scott, delivered a surprisingly effective performance as a child actor. The way he can slip in and out of the different emotions and roles he has to play is seamless. Taylor Schilling plays the mother, Sarah, and she brings a quiet and subdued performance that makes the film all the more creepy in certain moments. Peter Mooney plays John, the father, and his performance was kind of bland. I didn’t really feel much emotion behind him. But really, the film focuses the majority of its time on the mother and Miles. Colm Feore plays the specialist who tries to help Miles. Something about his performance was chilling. The way he said things and how he seemed like such a strong and confident man until he encounters Miles. The scene where he and Miles are alone, and the dialogue they share, is very well-written.

The cinematography was very well done as well. It was a very good use of the atmosphere with the long camera pans and shot, and the close up shots really amped the suspense and thrills as to what would happen next.

I do have to say the plot and story itself is pretty thin. The whole story behind what’s going on with Miles (no spoilers) is a bold idea, but it was executed weirdly leaving me unsure if I liked the way they took the film. However, the film was unpredictable, it took an original idea and ran with it. I’ll give it props for that. In the end, with a somewhat talented cast and crew, I was hoping the story would’ve been better.

The director, Nicholas McCarthy, hasn’t made a lot of films yet, and the other films he has made were horror films as well. I would like to see more from him because I believe he might have a unique vision. Maybe he just hasn’t found his stride yet.  

I am going to give the movie The Prodigy 2.5 out of 5 claps.