REVIEW: ‘The Prodigy’ delivers unsubtle thriller horror about creepy killer child


The Prodigy film poster / Orion Pictures

A story about a child who is connected to a serial killer. A movie that gives too much too soon.

Jose Fabian

This review contains spoilers.

If you want to see how deep a mother’s love is in a movie that gives too much too soon, go watch “The Prodigy.”

The beginning jumps back and forth from a scene of a pregnant couple on their way to the hospital to deliver their child to a scene of what could possibly be the ending in a serial killer movie.

Through some extremely obvious parallels, the audience is let in on the fact that the newborn baby, Miles, and the killer have a connection.

“The Prodigy” let us in on the ‘why’ of Miles’ creepiness and psychopathic tendencies too early, and the movie is less interesting because of it. It does, thankfully, leave the mystery of how Miles and the serial killer are connected.

When Sarah, Miles’ mom, has newborn Miles in her arms, she tells him how they’ve been waiting so long to have him. It was then that I knew this kid was going to get away with more than he should.

I even thought the movie might take a “Rosemary’s Baby” turn where Sarah accepts her little monster. It’s this dynamic that kept me wondering what would be Sarah’s breaking point.

The majority of the movie is carried by Sarah, Miles’ mother played by Taylor Schilling, and Miles played by Jackson Robert Scott. It’s her decisions about what to do regarding Miles’ connection with the killer that drives the movie right up until its ending, and the filmmakers do a good enough job to invest you in her bad decisions. I know I was.

The movie uses a lot of dim lighting which often leads you to wonder if Miles is standing there in the next room.

Some of the shots were filmed as if someone was walking up from behind or as if you’re following the character’s footsteps down the stairs to create suspense as we aren’t sure just what Miles has planned yet.

Miles offers your general child psychopath killer character with the creepy staring, violence and unnerving behavior which makes every killer child movie even worth watching.

It’s his genius intellect that makes “The Prodigy” stand out. Its exciting in a horrifying way to see him manipulate everyone around him.

Overall rating: 6 out of 10.

“The Prodigy” doesn’t offer enough horror to support the lack of suspense. Narratively, we’re let in on too much too early and some scenes are predictable. The movie creates, at times, an atmosphere of comfort and love provided by Sarah against Miles’ creepiness. It’s unnerving to watch, but worth it.