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'The Prodigy' Review

Same Story, Different Twist

The Prodigy (2019)

Have you ever wondered what happens when a hand obsessed serial killer is killed, then reincarnates into a newborn baby’s body to reap his unfinished business? You get The Prodigy.

At the beginning of the film, we're presented with a sequence of a woman fleeing for her life proceeded by a serial killer being shot down by police. We are then explained that; within those moments of his death his soul moves to inhabit the body of newborn infant Miles. 

During the early years of Miles' adolescence, he examples early signs of intelligence and overall development of the brain before the body. Fast forward eight years, and that's when the murderer inside Miles comes out to say hello. This causes him to suffer from night terrors, purposefully harming his babysitter, belting a classmate with a wrench (no one really saw him walk in with it?) when he doesn’t get his way and speaking naughty Hungarian in his sleep. This sends Miles’ parents, Sarah and John, into a whirlwind of panic, distress, and confusion.

Diving deep into the depths of classic horror movie cliches, the plot unfolds with Sarah trying to find out the mystery behind her son’s strange behaviour. With the script already revealing the twist way too early into the story of what is troubling Miles, there really is nowhere left for this story to go. It could have really ended here because we know how it's going to end. 

Soon Sarah is put in touch with a hypnotist, Dr. Arthur Jacobson, who studies reincarnation. There he advises Sarah that a sinister presence plaguing Miles is using his energy and body to carry out his unfinished doings. To vanish it, they must determine who and why is doing this to poor Miles because soon it will take over Miles whole body. 

It all ends when Sarah takes a drive to Ohio to finish what the entity inside Miles started. There her conscience overcomes her and decides that she cannot kill the female survivor. Now enter a post-drugged out Miles, AKA Edward Scarka, who comes in with a knife and finishes the job, stabbing his escapee to death. After, Sarah takes Miles into a nearby field and prepares herself to shoot him. Right as she's about to pull the trigger she is shot by a bystander. In the ending moments of the film, we see Miles, um Edward, soon adopted by a new family.  

In the end, The Prodigy tells us too much too early and misses out on important details. There’s no explanation given for why Miles' body was chosen or the origins of Edward Scarka's terror. Or what happened to John? Overall for me, The Prodigy failed to build up enough sway to be scary and left me feeling that it was rather pointless. Yet if done in another way, it may have had potential. 

The Prodigy felt like it had Hereditary vibes yet failed to convey the grief-stricken owes that it had, because it wasn't willing to produce the acts of brutality that Hereditary did. Filled with weak conversations and violence that was dialed down to a minimum, it took away from what this movie really needed. 

I give The Prodigy a 3/5.

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