The Prodigy brings a nightmare to life

Hannah Lorenzo, Features Editor

CAUTION: SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

It is considered a miracle when a baby enters this world with a fresh beginning and experiences. But what happens when that beginning turns out to be for the worst? Can a child really become a nightmare? Watch as the life of a family alters completely when they discover that their seemingly innocent child has sinister intentions for them.

“The Prodigy” arrived in theaters on Feb 8 to present an abnormal horror film with a unique story. Orion Pictures brought their own piece to a new era of horror, and it is definitely one that shocked audiences to their core. Full of jump scares and unexpected twists, “The Prodigy” did not fail to produce its ideas of a reality where children can be the victims and the villains.

This story puts the attention on a little boy named Miles, played by Jackson Robert Scott. To his mother Sarah, played by Taylor Schilling, and father John, played by Peter Mooney, he is the perfect child with two different colored eyes. And to add to their surprise, Miles is found to be a genius with the skills for knowledge. However, he has one more trait that they do not know he possesses.

Although this may seem like a normal family, their bond with each other heads downhill as Miles grows older. He becomes violent but is unaware of his actions. Sarah begins to figure the problem out as she observes Miles’s strange sleeping habits and his connection to terrible events that occur within their family and overall life.

As Miles continues to act stranger and stranger, Sarah is worried for his safety and tries to get him help. But the situation they are in is more dangerous than she assumes, especially with the idea of reincarnation coming into the light, which develops slowly and increases the tension of what could possibly be wrong.

Sarah passes the thought of someone being reborn into another person as insane. To her, Miles is her own son and is just sick. Still, she decides to do research about reincarnation, and the more she studies, the more she believes that it is actually real.

And the clues match up. Miles’s behavior shifts from one personality to an entirely distinct one, and it could happen at any time. Sarah notices this peculiar change in how he responds to her and John and how he interacts with them, including an odd obsession with hands.

What’s even more unsettling is that Miles is oblivious when this other side of him comes out, and all he can do is suffer from the confusion, and depressing atmosphere.

Not all hope disappears, though, when the name Edward Scarka pops up. According to her sources, Scarka, played by Paul Fauteux, was a crazed criminal who murdered several women before being shot by police one night.

To Sarah’s dismay, she learns that Scarka died on the same day and time Miles was born, which brought the idea of reincarnation back into her mind. With an increasing fear, her suspicions are proven true when she pieces together Scarka’s and Miles’s personalities, finding that they have the exact same characteristics, like speaking another language and containing memories unknown to Sarah.

With horrifying information, she wants to turn Miles back into her son because in this case, reincarnation involves two souls fighting to take control of one body. One will remain superior, while the weaker soul dies, although not much else is said about the idea after that. And the only way to accomplish her goal is to find out what Scarka wants, so that his soul can move on.

But what Sarah must do is something her stomach cannot bear. Margaret St. James, played by Brittany Allen, is Scarka’s unfinished business because she is the only one of his victims that escaped. This is a major point in the story that successfully strikes fear as audiences are unsure if Sarah will really go through with a murder.

Once she meets Margaret, however, Sarah is unable to do what Scarka never could, but the famous killer comes back when Miles takes a knife and stabs Margaret to death.

Sadly, the revealed truth is that Scarka took over Miles’s soul and body for good. His unfinished business is fulfilled, and now, he plans to continue his terror while he plays the part of an innocent little child, and this fact really hit hard due to a false sense of hope that Miles would come back.

In the end, Scarka is triumphant with murders under his belt and a new body to go with it. The movie finishes off with Miles looking at his reflection, only to have Scarka looking straight back with an evil stare, showing that reincarnation has dire consequences, as well.

After delving into “The Prodigy”, it can be agreed that audiences will be astounded at this film. Although it has the usual horror features, the main story and its background give an experience that is not overly showcased.

In this case, more detail could have been added here as reincarnation is really only touched upon by the movie. Reincarnation is an interesting topic, but not enough was put into that part of the storyline in order to effectively make it understandable.

The movie does drag longer than it needs to be, with each scare becoming more dull as the storyline progresses. The story’s focus being on Sarah rather than going into more detail with Miles makes the story a little awkward. With all of the events tying together, it leaves the audience with an unsatisfied feeling as it abruptly ends with Scarka being victorious with no possibility of a twist change.

Besides these points, “The Prodigy” is still one horror film to remember for its unnerving feel and shocking ending. It may not be overly hyped, but it is certainly not afraid to add one more thing to someone’s fear list: children.