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Nicholas McCarthy
Jackson Robert Scott, Taylor Schilling, Peter Mooney
Writing Credits:
Jeff Buhler

A mother concerned about her young son's disturbing behavior thinks something supernatural may be affecting him.

Box Office:
$6 Million.
Opening Weekend:
$5,853,061 on 2530 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 5/7/2019
• Audio Commentary with Director Nicholas McCarthy
• 3 Promotional Featurettes
• Gallery
• Trailer and Previews
• DVD Copy


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The Prodigy [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 5, 2019)

With 2019’s The Prodigy, we get a new entry in the “evil kid” genre. Young couple John (Peter Mooney) and Sarah Bloom (Taylor Schilling) produce a son they name Miles.

As an infant, Miles shows advanced cognitive abilities, and as an eight-year-old (Jackson Robert Scott), he continues to offer precocious skills. However, some of Miles’ behaviors take a darker, more violent turn, and these force Sarah to battle between her protective maternal instincts and her need to confront the potential nastiness that lurks in her son.

Although I see a lot of movies on the big screen, I tend to avoid horror films in that setting. I do this less because I inherently dislike the genre and more because so many modern horror flicks stink.

Yeah, you could make the same argument for pretty much any sub-set of cinema, and you’d be correct. However, I find myself less patient with bad horror than with crummy comedy or action, mainly because horror tropes often seem so stale.

This leaves most of my horror screenings at home, and that might not be a great decision. More than other genres, horror may benefit from the interactive experience that an audience provides. These flicks could be more fun with the communal jumps and screams.

That’s about the only way I can envision any thrills from Prodigy. While not a terrible flick, it lacks much to make it engaging.

Prodigy comes with a few clever notions, and its cast performs fairly well. In particular, Scott offers a good take on the typical spooky kid.

Unfortunately, too much of Prodigy feels cribbed from other genre efforts. In particular, we get obvious connections to 1973’s Exorcist and 1976’s Omen.

Prodigy also feels derivative when compared to other horror flicks of its era. Most modern films in this vein offer little more than a mix of creepy ambience and cheap jump scares, and Prodigy tends to follow that model.

This leads to a watchable movie but not one with any particularly strong traits. As far as modern horror goes, Prodigy keeps us mildly engaged and that’s about it.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

The Prodigy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a generally positive presentation.

For the most part, sharpness seemed good. A smidgen of softness cropped up on occasion, but not to a notable degree.

Overall clarity remained solid, and the image lacked problems like jaggies, shimmering and haloes. No print flaws marred the presentation.

Like virtually all modern horror flicks, Prodigy went with a stylized palette. We got a chilly teal feel combined with some amber tones, so don’t expect anything dynamic. That said, these suited the movie.

Blacks were reasonably dark and dense, and shadows were acceptable. Nothing here dazzled but the image seemed perfectly satisfactory.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, it offered a fairly typical horror movie soundscape. This meant a lot of creepy atmosphere and occasional “jolt moments”.

Along with good stereo music, the soundfield was able to open things up in a satisfying manner that embellished the story. For the most part, the mix didn’t impress, but it worked fine.

Audio quality was always good. Music appeared full and rich, while effects demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy.

Speech was natural and distinctive throughout the film. Again, this wasn’t a heavily active track, but it made sense for the story.

When we move to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Nicholas McCarthy. He brings us a running, screen-specific look at how he came to the project, story and characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, editing and deleted scenes, effects, music, photography and design, influences and inspirations, and connected domains.

I loved McCarthy’s commentary for At the Devil’s Door, and he provides another terrific effort for Prodigy. McCarthy covers a broad array of domains and he does so with honesty and engagement. This winds up as a wholly satisfying chat.

We also get three Promotional Featurettes. These include “Story” (1:26), “Genre” (1:39) and “Miles” (0:55).

Across these clips, we hear from McCarthy, composer Joseph Bishara, producer Tripp Vinson, and actor Taylor Schilling. They cover story aspects of story, characters, cast and genre. They’re advertisements without informational value.

A Gallery provides 12 images from the film. It becomes a wholly forgettable compilation.

The disc opens with an ad for Child’s Play (2019). Sneak Peek adds promos for Death Wish (2018) and The Belko Experiment. We also find the trailer for The Prodigy.

A second disc offers a DVD copy of Prodigy. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

As far as modern horror movies go, The Prodigy seems run of the mill. Although it comes with a few decent twists, most of it feels predictable and trite. The Blu-ray brings fairly good picture and audio as well as a few bonus materials highlighted by an excellent commentary. I’ve seen worse horror than Prodigy but I’ve seen a lot better, too.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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