A bloodied and bedraggled woman bursts out of a cabin at night. Running across a country road, she flags down a lone motorist who rescues her. As armed police later encircle the cabin, her kidnapper emerges naked. Dying in a hail of bullets, red bullet holes pepper his chest. In a far away maternity ward, Sarah (Taylor Schilling) gives birth to a new born child who has identical patches of blood on his chest…
…unintentionally declares its mimicry during its own title sequence.
Director Nicholas McCarthy’s ‘The Prodigy’ is a movie which unintentionally declares its mimicry during its own title sequence. As the red-on-black serif’d lettering blooms across the screen, this latest pedophobic horror steals much more from ‘The Omen’ than just its iconic opening titles.
Moving up through the already well-established gears of demonic child possession, ‘The Prodigy’s’ tale of Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) revels in the obvious. Vaulting from one tick box to the next and using the standard see-saw of outrageous acts followed by benign protests of innocence, the plot tires well before Miles’s parents trade ultimate realisation for murderous intent.
In a drawn-out horror that is much more crawly than creepy, lead actor Jackson Robert Scott at least manages to stand-out as a plaintive kid with diabolical delivery. Momentarily lifting the movie from the mediocre in a face-off with Colm Feore’s hypnotist, Jackson’s delivery is one palpably at odds with his age. However this is a momentarily bright moment in an otherwise choppy ride that will drown most even the most ardent horror fans’ attention span.
Clearly set up with a sequel, prequel and yet more to follow, ‘The Prodigy’s’ transparent finale and tacked-on coda has to be seen to believed – had you not already seen it in countless other movies. Ultimately reliant upon a misleading ‘R’ rating certification for horrific validation, this is one evil child franchise that does not deserve to graduate.