The Prodigy (2019)
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The Prodigy Blu-ray Review
Sarah (Taylor Schilling, Orange Is The New Black) and John (Peter Mooney; Wynonna Earp) Blume are at the hospital, welcoming their child into the world. At the same time, a serial killer in Ohio, Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux; Frontier), is shot to death by police. Two seemingly unrelated incidents but, as we soon find out, they are most definitely not.
The child, named Miles (Jackson Robert Scott, It), appears to be an "old soul" of sorts throughout his early life - full of maturity and intelligence beyond his years. When Miles turns eight, however, things start to change. He begins to exhibit some malicious behavior first with his younger sister and then with a girl at school. This behavior begins to get worse and worse and after a visit to a psychologist the topic of reincarnation comes up. Could this young boy be possessed by an evil spirit, causing him to do all this harm?
Jackson Robert Scott's performance is the real stand out here. His range, especially for a child his age, is impressive. Schilling also gives a good performance, showcasing the agony of a mother who just wants to help her child but realizes she cannot. However, even with these performances, the film itself falls a bit flat. The plot did have some original thought behind it but the storyline of the "evil child" is certainly nothing new. This shouldn't deter anyone from watching it, though. It is still a pretty entertaining film with some good scares in it.
The Prodigy is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and as with any recent release, the video quality in The Prodigy is exceptional. While the source could have used an upgrade to UHD 4K. It is still miles ahead of most Blu-ray transfers made early on in this decade. Blacks are true with no ghosting or artifcating and while the colors are muted they seem to be an intentional choice by the director. The soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1, knocks the house down, with its really wide dynamic range. The audio lets you hear every creak and subtle noise typical with most horror films as well adding a hypnotic score. This film is sure to scare you even just with its sound.
Special Features included in this title are:
- Audio Commentary with director Nicholas McCarthy: The director speaks about the creation of the film's characters and story as well as all that goes into the set and locations.
- Three Promotional Featurettes: "Story" (1:26), "Genre" (1:39) and "Miles" (0:55). These clips provide some behind the scenes insight from Nicholas McCarthy, composer Joseph Bishara, producer Tripp Vinson, and actor Taylor Schilling.
- Gallery: 12 Images from the film.
The Prodigy is an interesting take on a horror film, as it portrays everything as gray and not just black and white/good vs evil. It shows the extraordinary lengths a mother will go to for their child as well. While one might be dismissive of this film since so many child/demon stories have occurred in the past that would be a big mistake as this film defiantly does not follow the typical horror tropes.
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