The Prodigy (**1/2) occupies safe territory

The Prodigy – 2019

Director Nicholas McCarthy
Screenplay Jeff Buhler
Starring Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, Colm Feore, Paul Fauteux, Peter Mooney

There are so many possession movies now, you’d figure they’d have to call it something else by now. This time, they call it reincarnation, even though it’s not one person showing up in two different beings. Instead, one that’s “not finished” with their life’s business gets to shove some other poor fool to the side and plop down for a while.

This time, young Miles is born at the very moment someone else dies miles away. How the guy who died makes it all the way to the hospital, we don’t see. It doesn’t matter much, though. Just like it doesn’t matter that I told you the basic plot twist in the first paragraph. Director McCarthy doesn’t do much in the way of disguising screenwriter Jeff Buhler’s story, either.

From the outset, when we see Miles (Scott), we notice his heterochromia, although most of us are learning with the characters in the story what that word means. He has one blue and one brown eye. We also see that he’s developing rather quickly for his age. By the time he’s been tested and introduced to a special school, he’s already shown a penchant for killing to the viewer.

It takes a few more scenes for the the parents to be clued in, and even longer for them to get to the point where they acknowledge they need to do something about their 8 year old with a penchant for sharpening shears.

Save one clever twist in the 2nd act involving Feore’s specialist therapist, the film holds no surprises. This is okay when the acting is superior or the cinematographer knows how to frame scares that we know are coming. If neither of these are the case, you just wait it out.

There is nothing horrible about this film. In fact, it’s a decent starter film for those who haven’t seen a horror film or don’t want to be really scared. For someone who’s seen just one classic in the genre, it’s not going to stir much.

See it if, like me, you’re waiting for your kid and her friend to get out of a Rom-Com you wanted to see even less.

(**1/2 out of *****)

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