Director: Nicholas McCarthy
Stars: Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, Colm Feore
Released: Friday, March 15th (UK)
If Orphan was your defacto favourite comedy of 2009 (it was mine, I admit), then strap yourself in for The Prodigy – a no-frills cheap-and-cheerful studio horror flick with every illusion going as to just what you can and can’t skirt by on with a straight face. Best described as Child’s Play with an actual child, The Prodigy’s a bevvy of missed opportunities for the horror market today, content only with snatching up only the lowest hanging fruit of its own concept and wearing the straightest, most serious face it can as it does.
Said face largely takes the form of Taylor Schilling’s, as a relatively nondescript (as indeed is more or less everything in the film) suburban mom discovers her genius-level eight year-old son is in fact sharing his body with the soul of a murdered serial killer. Notice the terms “genius-level” and “serial killer” are in that pitch, despite there being literally no connection between the two in The Prodigy itself – a mere single distillation of the sort of missed opportunities presented by an otherwise astonishingly humorous horror romp.
Yes, The Prodigy would like to be a homunculus comprised of equal parts Omen, Child’s Play, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Good Son, but it never properly gets off the starting block thanks to the staggering weight of its own pomposity. A dash of self-awareness and a hint of irony can go a long way, and, in the case of The Prodigy, could well have turned a movie we only really saw a fortnight ago in the UK with The Hole in the Ground into something genuinely compelling, settling instead for something akin to the horror genre’s own personal Geostorm.
Schilling, generally everyone’s least favourite element of a TV show she’s the headline star of, manages to be passable at best, her investment here largely in off-camera middle-distance gazes no matter what horror is being presented before her. Credit where it’s due, however, young actor Jackson Robert Scott (best known to audiences as the recipient of IT’s rather memorable opening sequence) manages a legitimate creep factor as the young possessee, even if his switch between light and dark does verge on comically paradoxical on occasion.
No matter how hard you try though, you can’t get past that so-bad-you-have-to-laugh factor, and it’s here that The Prodigy genuinely shines – for all the wrong reasons, but it shines nonetheless. Respectable dramatic actors are asked to spout genuinely humorous dialogue with absolute sincerity, the concept is laid out with all the subtlety and depth of the average Super Bowl blimp, and if there’s a single plot point in this that you can’t see coming from the literal opening five minutes, you may actually be cinematically illiterate enough to enjoy an exercise so mystifyingly old hat it’s usually worn atop a wax dummy. All of which at least makes it good for a laugh, though nothing else.
Shazam! Funfair Takes Over London’s South Bank
Warner Bros.’ DC comic book adaptation Shazam! is just two weeks away, but for fans who simply can’t wait that...
Noah Centineo Is Sony’s He-Man For Masters of the Universe
Surprise Hit Japanese Horror One Cut Of The Dead To Get American Remake
Michael B. Jordan Teaming With Kong: Skull Island Director For Original Creature Feature
Nic Cage To Lead Martial Arts Comic Book Adaptation Jiu Jitsu
Destination: Dewsbury Releases April 9
Avengers: Infinity War Originally Didn’t End With ‘The Snap’
News1 week ago
Captain Marvel Scores $500 Million, As The MCU Crosses $18 Billion Worldwide
Movie Reviews2 weeks ago
Ray & Liz
In Cinemas This Week2 weeks ago
Captain Marvel ★★★
Indie News1 week ago
Sci-Fi Film FLASHOUT Releases Late March
News4 days ago
Ray Fisher Out As Cyborg, Ezra Miller’s Flash Potentially Set To Follow
News1 week ago
Rian Johnson’s Knives Out Wraps Filming
News1 week ago
Kevin Smith Responds To Stan Lee’s Cameo In Captain Marvel
News2 weeks ago
Seth Rogen On The Netflix Awards Debate: “I Think A Theatre Is The Best Place” For Comedy