A decent creepy-kid flick, The Prodigy follows Taylor Schilling’s Sarah as she becomes increasingly convinced that there’s something off about her eight-year-old son (Jackson Robert Scott’s Miles). Filmmaker Nicholas McCarthy does an effective job of immediately luring the viewer into the somewhat deliberate proceedings, as The Prodigy opens with a pre-credits stretch detailing Miles’ birth and the death of a vicious serial killer – with the connection between the two vastly-different threads kept obscured until well into the narrative proper. From there, the picture segues into a predictable-yet-watchable midsection that touches upon many of the tropes one generally expects from stories of this ilk, with Schilling and Scott’s strong work, coupled with an ongoing inclusion of solid jolts (eg Miles attacks a fellow student with a wrench), ensuring that The Prodigy remains fairly compelling despite an ongoing lack of imagination. (This is, after all, a picture that introduces a family dog seemingly for the sole purpose of lazily dispatching it later.) And although the second act is riddled with impossible-to-overlook plot holes (ie why wouldn’t that character have recorded that conversation?), The Prodigy, armed with an impressive twist that explains the head-scratching opening, progresses into an entertaining (if entirely ludicrous) finale that ultimately does cement its place as a solid entry within a fairly reliable genre.
*** out of ****