Let’s face it; in this day and age it takes a lot to create a good scary movie. We have been so spoiled by the genius of Stephen King (think The Shining, Misery and It), Stanley Kubrick, and Alfred Hitchcock that a scary movie in today’s world really has to go above and beyond. Many horror films today strive for a major shock factor but lack a gripping story, making them fall short of a compelling movie for audiences. However, The Prodigy does not fall into the category of one of these horror films, and stands alone as a solid mix of psychological, mystical, suspense in what is sure to be one of your new favorite scary movies.
In The Prodigy Sarah (Taylor Schilling) and John (Peter Mooney) welcome the arrival of their new baby boy Miles (Jackson Robert Scott). However, only a few months after his birth, Miles starts to show signs of extreme early development. He says “Mama” at five months of age, his motor skills are advanced, and he doesn’t flinch or cry when getting a shot at the doctor. His parents believe they have a genius on their hands, putting him into the best school and having him tested for his incredible abilities. But despite his high IQ, Miles doesn’t get along well with others, and after a few alarming incidents, including with a babysitter and a boy at school, Miles’ mother starts to worry. Then things at home begin to unravel as the mystery ensues…what is wrong with Miles?
The film is definitely not original; think of it as a The Omen meets Child’s Play. Despite this notion, it still manages to be a solid thriller. From the get go, the movie has a solid opening for a film of this genre, leaving the audience in suspense as to what is to come. It also does a fantastic job of getting to the point and not dragging on like other films of this type tend to do. If Jackson Robert Scott scared you in It as Georgie Denbrough, then he’ll really terrify you as Miles. It never ceases to amaze me how children as young as him, (he is eight), can act circle around some of their peers who are five times older, and boy does Scott do so in this film. Nothing is more shocking than hearing what is supposed to be an eight year old boy swear and speak such foul language. In another film, his vile musings would have come off as titillating. Here, they are on par with Linda Blair’s shocking obscenities in The Exorcist and just as necessary to the plot.
The film definitely has a few jumps and jolts, leaving the audience in fear as the anticipation for the next frightening scene lurks. Complete with a full circle ending and a twist you won’t see coming, The Prodigy is a solid thriller that will leave you questioning any genius you may have in your life.