‘The Prodigy’ Review: Twisted Horror Outing Puts a New Spin on Possessed Kid Storyline

IndieWire | 2/6/2019 | Staff
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It’s not the Devil that’s taken hold of young Miles Bloom, and that’s hardly a spoiler for director Nicholas McCarthy’s gruesome “The Prodigy,” which uses its opening minutes to introduce a new idea to the “possessed kid” horror subgenre and then keeps twisting it into some unexpected shapes — if not the most artful ones. The title hasn’t even come up before a pair of seemingly disparate subplots dovetail into one, as a much-wanted baby is born just as a psychotic killer is gunned down by police. And there’s more: “The Prodigy” isn’t compelled by subtlety. As Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux) lays dying on the ground, pierced by multiple gunshot wounds, McCarthy cuts to baby Miles, being wiped clean of a set of blood splotches in the exact same spots on his infant chest.

Edward’s apparent involvement in Miles’ budding life originally seems like a good thing, as the bouncing baby soon exhibits signs of being incredibly gifted. He starts speaking at just 20 weeks, assembling complicated educational toys before a year is out, even standing over his own crib and reciting menacing words in another language (what? exactly!). “He’s special,” mom Sarah (Sarah Schilling) smiles to husband John (Peter Mooney), and the two remarkably average parents bask in the glow of the revelation that they’ve spawned a gifted child.

Something - Miles - Birthday - Jackson - Robert

Well, they’ve spawned something. Miles is certainly advanced, and as he approaches his eighth birthday (when young Jackson Robert Scott takes over the role), he zings through a cycle of violence and manipulation with lightning speed, from going after a classmate with a wrench to easily manipulating an elder to maybe even offing the family dog, all in the space of about three days. Mostly, it works because Scott’s performance works, and while his two-colored eyes (“like David Bowie!,” an innocent admirer...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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