The Prodigy

The Prodigy

2019, R, 100 min. Directed by Nicholas McCarthy. Starring Taylor Schilling, Brittany Allen, Jackson Robert Scott, Colm Feore, Peter Mooney.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., Feb. 8, 2019

Minutes after an infamous serial killer is gunned down by an Ohio SWAT team, Sarah (Schilling, making a case for a career as a Radha Mitchell-esque horror icon) gives birth to Miles (Scott), the baby she and her husband John (Mooney) have been waiting years to conceive. Much to their surprise, Miles quickly proves to be far ahead of the developmental curve, inspiring his parents to place their quick learner in a special program for child prodigies. However, when Miles begins to lash out at the other students around him, his parents begin to suspect that their special child might be even more out of the ordinary than they ever could have expected.

Unsurprisingly, The Prodigy is at its best when it takes an earnest approach to its subject matter. Screenwriter Jeff Buhler is something of a hot ticket in Hollywood these days (his upcoming list of projects includes remakes of The Grudge, the long-delayed Jacob’s Ladder, and Pet Sematary, announced just this week as the SXSW Film festival closing title), and this film proves he can walk a line between satisfying jump scares and something approximating atmospheric horror. There’s something to be said about a scary movie for general audiences that hardened horror fans might also enjoy; if this film had been released in the early 2000s, people like me who grew up on unexpected big-studio schlock shockers like Darkness Falls and Ghost Ship would probably have turned this into one of the biggest direct-to-video franchises of the decade.

And The Prodigy needs every ounce of that second-tier horror energy, because – outside of its strong leading performances – the film doesn’t quite do enough to nudge it beyond the realm of simple competence. One personal pet peeve is the music. A movie about evil reincarnation could pave the way for any of a hundred different song choices, but The Prodigy’s score is focused on a dissatisfying blend of danger chords and a single shapeless Hungarian folk song.

So while the film may earn points for its goofball premise and sincere execution, it will also play much better to people who do not remember movies like Child’s Play and Fallen (with Denzel Washington and John Goodman as cops chasing a body-hopping serial killer demon), both of which provide the foundation for what The Prodigy becomes. So while it may not reinvent the wheel, it will give you a nice jump or two for the price of a Sunday matinee. That’s a bar which most studio horrors can honestly only aspire to cross.

Showtimes

Mon., Feb. 18

7:50, 10:35

Tue., Feb. 19

7:50, 10:35

Wed., Feb. 20

7:50, 10:35

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Mon., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:10, 4:30, 7:10

Tue., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:10, 4:30, 7:10, 9:30

Wed., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:10, 4:30, 7:10

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Mon., Feb. 18

digital 12:05, 2:50, 5:25, 8:05, 10:40

Tue., Feb. 19

digital 12:05, 2:50, 5:25, 8:05, 10:40

Wed., Feb. 20

digital 12:05, 2:50, 5:25, 8:05, 10:40

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Mon., Feb. 18

digital 9:50am, 12:15, 2:40, 5:10, 7:45, 10:15

Tue., Feb. 19

digital 12:15, 2:40, 5:15, 7:45, 10:15

Wed., Feb. 20

digital 12:15, 2:40, 5:15, 7:45, 10:15

Mon., Feb. 18

digital 10:55am, 4:30

Tue., Feb. 19

digital 10:55am, 4:30

Wed., Feb. 20

digital 10:55am, 4:30

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Mon., Feb. 18

digital 12:00, 2:40, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40

Tue., Feb. 19

digital 12:00, 2:40, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40

Wed., Feb. 20

digital 12:00, 2:40, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Feb. 18

digital 10:40am, 1:00, 3:20, 5:40, 8:00, 10:20

Tue., Feb. 19

digital 10:40am, 1:00, 3:20, 5:40, 8:00, 10:20

Wed., Feb. 20

digital 10:40am, 1:00, 3:20, 5:40, 8:00, 10:20

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Mon., Feb. 18

digital 11:00am, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Tue., Feb. 19

digital 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Mon., Feb. 18

1:20, 7:40, 10:10

Tue., Feb. 19

1:20, 7:40, 10:10

Wed., Feb. 20

1:20, 7:40, 10:10

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Mon., Feb. 18

1:05, 3:30, 5:55, 8:20, 10:45

Tue., Feb. 19

1:05, 3:30, 5:55, 8:20, 10:45

Wed., Feb. 20

1:05, 3:30, 5:55, 8:20, 10:45

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 7:35, 10:20

Tue., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 7:35, 10:20

Wed., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 7:35, 10:20

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Mon., Feb. 18

12:00, 4:50

Tue., Feb. 19

12:00, 4:50

Wed., Feb. 20

12:00, 4:50

Thu., Feb. 21

12:00, 4:50

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Mon., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 8:00

Tue., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 8:00

Wed., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 8:00

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:40, 5:10, 7:50, 10:20

Tue., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:40, 5:10, 7:50, 10:20

Wed., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:40, 5:10, 7:50, 10:20

Thu., Feb. 21

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:40, 5:10, 7:50, 10:20

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Mon., Feb. 18

3:05, 9:25

Tue., Feb. 19

3:05, 9:25

Wed., Feb. 20

3:05, 9:25

Thu., Feb. 21

3:05, 9:25

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Mon., Feb. 18

1:25, 4:25, 10:45

Tue., Feb. 19

1:25, 4:25, 10:45

Wed., Feb. 20

1:25, 4:25, 10:45

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Mon., Feb. 18

11:20am, 4:35

Tue., Feb. 19

4:35

Wed., Feb. 20

4:50

Thu., Feb. 21

4:35

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Mon., Feb. 18

12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:15, 10:45

Tue., Feb. 19

12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:15, 10:45

Wed., Feb. 20

12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:15, 10:45

Thu., Feb. 21

12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:15, 10:45

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:15, 10:30

Tue., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 12:30, 2:45, 4:30, 7:45, 10:00

Wed., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 12:30, 2:45, 4:30, 7:45, 10:00

Thu., Feb. 21

CC/DVS 12:30, 2:45, 4:25, 7:45, 10:00

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Prodigy, Nicholas McCarthy, Taylor Schilling, Brittany Allen, Jackson Robert Scott, Colm Feore, Peter Mooney

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