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Some films are so uncompromisingly bad that their awfulness triggers a spasm of second-guessing and self-doubt. Is it irony? Is it comedy? Is it some form of pop-art primitivism? No. It’s an unscary scary movie that quickly abandons the very thing that might have made it interesting (ie, the disturbing quality of childhood genius – which is to say, the thing in the title) in favour of tiresome jump scares, bad child acting, bad grownup acting and untied plot strands designed to facilitate a terrible franchise, like The Conjuring or Insidious.
Taylor Schilling (from Orange Is the New Black) plays Sarah, who gives birth to a child at the exact cosmically malign moment that a Hungarian-speaking serial killer is shot dead by cops. This kid becomes eight-year-old Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) who is adorable but given to weird mood swings and staring up at adults through his lashes in the manner of demon kids everywhere. Miles has violent episodes that he can’t remember afterwards. He speaks Hungarian dialect in his sleep. Yikes. And the genuinely disquieting possibilities of his precocious cleverness are just forgotten about in favour of standard-issue horror cliches.
That distinguished Canadian actor Colm Feore is lumbered with the role of careworn priest/psychiatrist/wise-elder figure who has to do all the explaining – and his character is dispensed with as clumsily as everyone and everything else. This film is bad news for everyone who remembers how great Schilling was in Orange Is the New Black. This film doesn’t show a smidgeon of her capacity for wit and fun.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: The Prodigy review – unscary demon-kid horror story | Horror films