I’m all for a daft horror every now and then, but it has to be tongue in cheek. The Prodigy managed to be daft, but takes itself far too seriously.
Taylor Schilling (Orange is the new Black) plays Sarah, mother to Miles, a frighteningly intelligent baby who is quickly heralded as a genius by (as most geniuses are) his parents and packed off to a school for clever kids.
That is the first and last mention of the film’s title – which from then on in is absolutely moribund to anything else that happens – it should have been called Para-far-too-normal activity instead.
You see, the exact same second Miles was born, somewhere across America a serial killer named Edward, proficient in ancient forms of Hungarian dialect was shot dead by police and his soul, got transferred into Miles’ body – with unfinished business.
This takes place in an unintentionally hilarious (a running theme in this film) scene where the director goes to great lengths to hide an adult penis from the screen, covering it with erm… a baby’s penis.
What follows is a really quite lame pastiche of many films you’ve seen before. We get a nod to ‘A Quiet Place’, we realise why Damien rarely spoke in ‘The Omen’ (kids are generally terrible actors – no exception here) and I presume hearing the kid utter obscenities under his breath is tipping the hat to The Exorcist, but it just made people laugh.
For these supernatural films to work they have to be embedded in some form of reality – but if your mind is wondering how a child can smack another child around the head with a wrench in school and not be so much as spoken to by the police, you are less inclined to be unsettled by anything else.
There are a couple of decent Aphex Twin style scares but coupling the stupidity with an awful script ("Oh that explains EVERYTHING!” a character lies at one point) makes this is one to watch when there’s no decent comedy left on Netflix.
The Prodigy 92 mins (15)
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