Film Review: “The Prodigy” (2019) ★★

© Orion Pictures

“The Prodigy” is one of those films which I truly wanted to like. Its premise alone was shouting, “watch me, watch me”, almost hypnotizing me to force me to do something against my will, so that I may be pleased with myself in the end, for making the right choice. And I agreed with the voice I heard in my head, if I can say it that way, and did what I felt was the right thing to do, which resulted in the piece you are about to read below.

Sarah and John are finally celebrating the birth of their child – a son named Miles. The boy quickly turns into a wunderkind; he begins talking at an early age, his eyes are different colors, and he seems to be absolutely no trouble to the newly-become parents. “You’re so perfect”, says Sarah to her son while she cradles him in her arms just to learn later that he is not so perfect after all.

The film opens with the young woman in the woods running away from something that is not seen to our eyes. Shortly after, when the driver of a car notices her, she stops, hoping to help the woman in distress only to realize she is missing a hand. This is when we first meet Sarah, whose unborn child, soon to be named Miles, can’t wait to see the light of day. In the next scene, we are taken back to the remote cabin in which police first find the abductor and kill him after an apparent suspicion that he may have had a gun in his hand. Watching those two scenes back-to-back we soon realize the man’s soul has reincarnated into the body of Miles, possessing his body to finish his sinister and vicious task.

The entire issue with “The Prodigy” is that it aimed to fly way too high. Certainly, there’s nothing bad about it, however, whether it was the missing deadlines or the screenplay written by Jeff Buhler, it became a funny movie overall. Even though it’s meant to be scary, which it was at times, I gotta admit the way the storyline unfolded, I could not help but laugh a lot.

Overall, “The Prodigy” is not that bad, or as some might say, awful. It’s a surprisingly fun movie to watch if you leave all the negative sides of it aside. Performance-wise, Taylor Schilling as Sarah, Jackson Robert Scott as Miles, Colm Feore as Arthur Jacobson, and Peter Mooney as John did the best of their abilities to look convincing with the unconvincing and dull narrative. As for direction, Nicholas McCarthy, perhaps, should have seen which direction his film goes, but I guess, all that he hoped was to proceed with the birth of this film with the hope that there will be someone who will truly love it and I really wish, I was one of them.

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