The Prodigy – USA | Hong Kong, 2019

‘There’s something wrong with Miles’

The Prodigy is a 2019 American/Hong Kong supernatural horror feature film directed by Nicholas McCarthy (HolidaysAt the Devil’s DoorThe Pact) from a screenplay by Jeff Buhler (Pet Sematary, 2019). It was produced by Tara Farney and Tripp Vinson (The RiteThe Exorcism of Emily Rose). The Vinson Films production stars Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott , Peter Mooney, Colm Feore, and Brittany Allen.

Plot:

A mother is concerned about her young son’s disturbing behaviour and starts to think that something supernatural may be affecting him…

Reviews:

” …the film is competently made, if nothing else. There are a few chilling moments, particularly involving Miles’ encounters with a classmate and a babysitter, and a couple of gasp-inducing ones that are best left unspoiled, but it’s only during the film’s climax that The Prodigy attempts to skirt predictability – and when it does, it’s really something.” Britt Hayes, Crooked Marquee

” …The Prodigy shows flickers of something better, moments of adrenaline-fueled thrills and unconventional jolts that ultimately are just pieces lost in an over-familiar plot. There’s still plenty of fun to be had in the theater with this one, just don’t expect it to take you anywhere you haven’t been before.” Haleigh Foutch, Collider

“It’s an unscary scary movie that quickly abandons the very thing that might have made it interesting (ie, the disturbing quality of childhood genius – which is to say, the thing in the title) in favour of tiresome jump scares, bad child acting, bad grownup acting and untied plot strands designed to facilitate a terrible franchise, like The Conjuring or Insidious.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

The Prodigy tells us too much too early, and misses out on important details. There’s no explanation given for why Miles or why this family, so it feels more like a parade of mild misery. In the end, The Prodigy fails to build up enough momentum to be scary, and only manages to be sad and pointless.” Jenna Stoeber, Polygon

” …if there’s something wrong with Miles, it’s that his creators don’t do much with him. They wind him up, and expect viewers to be impressed, because hey, Violent Children are creepy! Unfortunately, the film’s scare scenes aren’t even well-executed.” Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

” …adds a twist where it concerns the cause of the child’s unsettling behavior. While the resulting film generally succeeds at being macabre, it doesn’t go far enough to really break the mold for its subgere. The Prodigy is an often chilling and disturbing – if not particularly meaningful or impactful – horror movie weighed down its by derivative plot.” Sandy Schaeffer, Screen Rant

“Nicholas McCarthy, the director of the new bad-seed movie, The Prodigy, works in a low key that still somehow scrapes your nerves, so when the nasty stuff arrives, you realize (too late!) that you’ve been softened up for the kill. The film is cruelly well-made.” David Edelstein, Vulture

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