Here’s the thing about Blumhouse movies: they give you more bang than their budget would indicate. And since the budget for The Prodigy was only six million bucks, the bar was low from the beginning, but it still ended up being a fun movie. Spoilers follow. But before that, let’s watch the trailer so we are oriented.
New parents Sarah (Taylor Schilling from Orange is the New Black which I never saw) and John (Peter Mooney from…*clicks IMDB*…the new movie The Prodigy) are super stoked that their kid Miles (Jackson Robert Scott who was Georgie in IT) is wicked smart. But that backfires on them pretty quickly.
See when the movie opens, we see a girl escape from a killer shack (I call everything a killer shack now because of Dead by Daylight) and get found by a woman and we see that her hand was cut off. Then we see the killer doing weirdo killer things on a workbench while the SWAT team trips all of his alarms.
So he is deffo going to get caught so to try and play it off as a misunderstanding he…runs out of the front door naked holding the severed hand. The cops then shoot him a bunch and he falls, blood welling from the holes in his chest (they used a cleverly placed gun barrel to hide his dong).
Cut to the new baby being born and he just happens to have blood drops from the miracle of child birth in the EXACT SAME SPOTS! That can’t be good.
Then they whiz through Miles’ early childhood nodding to how smart he is until they finally settle on him as an eight year old. At one point someone in the film says “that’s a great age” and it really is if you want a little kid to say and do shocking things. Younger than that and it seems fake and much older the shock factor wears off a bit because according to Law and Order: SVU all kids are having meth gang bangs by the age of 12.
Anyway the slow creeps start moving along and the thing is that since we KNOW the bad guy is in the kid there isn’t much of a mystery, but in a cool way it doesn’t matter because the ways they show the dude are creepy as hell.
But since they blow their reincarnation load so quickly it is a little tough to worry about what is going to happen because Dr. Metronome Exposition (you saw him in the trailer above) tells you that the reincarnated soul needs to finish some business before they can go to wherever they were supposed to go in the first place when they died. But wait…that’s ghosts! Who decides which people are ghosts and which ones get real bodies? I think the ghosts are getting the raw end of that deal.
So to cut to the chase – the kid is actually a Hungarian hand chopping serial killer who needs to polish off the one that got away in the beginning before they can move on or whatever. And if they don’t get him moved on quickly, he will get stuck as the Goulash Ripper. And from there we get some fun stuff. But to me, they blew the ending and I wish they had done it differently. Here’s what they did:
After Miles stabs the dad and puts him into a coma with a car crash, Mom decides to kill the escaped victim to save her family. She brings the kid to the woman’s house and tries to shoot her with a gun she bought on the way but wimps out. But the kid (who is just the dead murderer with no upper body strength) kills the woman and runs out of the house. The mom chases him and he tells her that Miles is gone forever and it is just him now. She gets ready to shoot her own kid (well, his body) when a hunter who looks like Robin Williams kills her! Sad!
What they should have done was have the mother shoot the woman and then have the killer tell her she messed it up because she didn’t cut off her other hand first. They made a big deal out of the fact that she had one hand but the killer cut off both so there was an opening. Then from there all the rest of the stuff could have happened mostly the same but the mom would die knowing she was a murderer AND it didn’t even help. More sad!
Overall, I give it a 3 out of 5. The only other reincarnation horror thing I remember existing is Audrey Rose so I might try to find that but this was pretty good. I also think they are set for a sequel because they did not peg the time period and they used a hand held tape recorder and a CD ROM so I think they want to jump ahead 10 years (to current day) and make him an 18 year old serial killer who the father is trying to kill! That’s a movie!