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Paddington rulz ok
2 months ago
Moderator of r/movies

Official Discussion: The Prodigy [SPOILERS]


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Sarah is a mother whose young son Miles' disturbing behavior signals that an evil, possibly supernatural force has overtaken him. Fearing for her family's safety, Sarah must grapple with her maternal instinct to love and protect Miles in favor of investigating what - or who - is causing his dark turn.


Nicholas McCarthy


screenplay by Jeff Buhler


  • Taylor Schilling as Sarah

  • Jackson Robert Scott as Miles

  • Colm Feore as Arthur Jacobson

  • Brittany Allen as Margaret St. James

  • Peter Mooney as John

  • Oluniké Adeliyi as Rebecca

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%

Metacritic: 49/100

After Credits Scene? No

All previous official discussions can be found on /r/discussionarchive

80% Upvoted
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level 1
3 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

This movie is ridiculously incomplete. I've seen some indie movies that literally made zero sense and left you theory crafting ti figure out wtf happened. A 2018 horror movie with fairly decent hype to be a blockbuster that feels liken it was produced by professionals and written by someone who's mind constantly races with different ideas that are half cocked and never have a full beginning, middle and end. Obviously, spoilers. 1 : Great intro albeit slightly confusing as you're put into the escape scene of a young girl that somehow punched through at least a 2 or 3 inch thick wooden door, with one hand and MAYBE 90 lbs, soaking wet. 2: Ignore that she did this without her captor hearing a thing, after we see she definitely split to safety...a swat team shows up? We see the house is out there far enough that theres zero visible light sources anywhere, just trees and darkness...accounting for the time it took her to run, explain to the lady that finds her what's going on like why her hand is gone, get to the police to do the same thing and then assemble a coordinated the least an hour has gone by minimum. 3: In this time Mr. Hands not only didn't hear a thing when the girl escapes but has no inclinations of checking in on her. When his little tripwire thing goes off it took him two seconds to go from the room to the area she was being he deaf? 4: Fast forward a bit, I don't have kids but if my child exhibits genius level intelligence, refuses to make any friends and speaks different languages in his sleep, something isn't right. Let's not forget beating some kid probably nearly to death with a pipe wrench (He's like 8 and 50 lbs, im 250 and gym every day and a wrench that size has some weight to it to just swing around, but anyway...) 5: Ill stop being picky, total deal breaker was the kid knowing about his dad's own past abuse and openly exploiting it to hurt him THEN later on somehow has freakin sharpened gardening shears chillin in the backseat and stabs pops in the kidney and survive a full on frontal Collison, at speed, with no damage at all except a bruise. Sorry - call the cops, those doctors and the ghost busters and out his butt away somewhere under a hosptial inside a prison. Movie or not, psychotic breaks are a real thing and kid's have definitely commited cold blooded murder in real life. Stuff like this just really ruins the atmosphere for me. 6: Besides the haphazard and pothole stricken story, the ending was sort of expected - either that girl or the mom would die and little Hungary would get away. I didn't expect an 8yro to disembowel an adult while his mom watched and didnt do anything or for old man red the farmer to somehow appear and discover mommy pointing a 380 revolvee at her kid and blow her lower GI out of her back. TLDR: Even with AMC theater's 5$ ticket tuesday this felt like a ripoff. Ive seen grindhouse movies with a more solid and fluent story than this, it feels like the writers too Adderal for their midterm or finals and decided to write a script for fun.

level 1

This was Yoshikage Kira's origin

level 1
1 point · 1 month ago

Ok but did anyone else scream when the cat jumped up on the table?

level 1

I actually love the film for the most part, but what's up with the outdated technology in this? She has a smartphone, why the fuck would she record his voice with an old mini-cassette recorder? Do people still use those? And the doctor gives her a DVD to watch a taped news segment? Just send her a YouTube link. It's like the writers only know tropes and haven't completely updated to modern times yet.

level 2

the recorder was her sons. kids still like to use those and cus it was right there and she obv didnt have her phone on her when in her sons room

level 1

Sorry if this was discussed but was the child a "prodigy" because he was actually incredibly smart or was it the adult Hungarian man within him that made it appear the child was smarter than the average toddler/kid?

level 2

the latter 120%

level 1

I saw this over the weekend and thought it was okay. I guess it's this years version of a horror movie that isn't so bad, but also isn't really memorable in any way.

What I liked: I thought the performances were mostly pretty good. Jackson Robert Scott did the creepy kid thing well, and I thought Colm Feore was awesome. I'm the rare person that really likes Taylor Schilling (I've been kinda disappointed that Orange is the New Black has moved so far away from her) and I liked her in this. I thought the movie did moments really well, like the opening scene showing the birth and the killer's death, the scare with the killers head on Miles body, and the hypnosis scene (though it's kind of ruined by the stupidity of not recording it)

What I didn't like: I thought the ending was pretty lame, and I wouldn't mind that so much if it hadn't just teased multiple better endings. I think either of these endings would have been better: 1) Sarah kills Margaret and Miles is saved, but Sarah has to deal with having murdered someone. 2) Sarah has to kill Miles and deal with having murdered her own son. I normally don't like to play "this is how the movie should have done it", but I feel okay about it in this case considering the movie teased both of those. Also the husband/father is practically not a character for about half of this movie, and there are a ton of dumb character decisions, as others here have indicated.

Quick complaint: I watched two movies this weekend where the dog dies, and that sucks. I know it's weird that I'm complaining about dog death in the same comment as I advocate for child murder, but that's how I'm wired.

It's a 2/5 movie for me. It's just a pretty forgettable horror movie that I doubt I'm ever going to watch again.

level 2
2 points · 1 month ago

Quick complaint: I watched two movies this weekend where the dog dies, and that sucks. I know it's weird that I'm complaining about dog death in the same comment as I advocate for child murder, but that's how I'm wired.

Every single time I'm at a horror movie and see an animal I brace myself... And it seems like in 98% of all horror movies I've watched that do contain animals something does happen to them. I don't like it, lol. :(

level 1

Spoilers ahead I guess but also why would you be here if you're expecting to not see any.

It felt like there was potential but it just took so many wild turns. There were smart things done but almost immediately after something stupid happens.

  • Mom records creepy language in his sleep, shares it. Doesn't share it with husband until waaaaay later.

  • After creepy language situation, kid somehow beats another classmate with a wrench. Goes to a psychiatrist. Mom mentions psychiatrist brought up possible abuse, dad freaks out "oh i would never do that" YOUR KID JUST BEAT ANOTHER WITH A WRENCH A NIGHT AFTER MUMBLING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE FOCUS ON HIM MAYBE????

  • Guy speaking 1 on 1 with Miles doesn't record their session(?????) so nothing fucking happens after he's blackmailed by an 8 year old.

  • Luckily he calls them super late, okay that's cool he's trying to nut up and make the smart move that something should be done. Parents get it, share it, make a plan that Miles can't know about whatsoever. holy shit they're doing it they're going to overcome this

  • Send miles to school, split up, mom packs his clothes and suddenly decides you know what maybe I should help him and kill this chick 8 years later. Dad picks him up and when they're ALONE IN THE CAR, dad starts telling him he's sending him to get help. BRUH, JUST GET TO THE PLACE IN SILENCE.

  • Dad is stabbed, car accident, coma etc whatever. somehow doctors didn't see his fucking stab wound in his side from the only other passenger that yes had massive shears or a knife whatever it even was. Jesus christ sure just go let Mom kill the other lady now I guess.

  • Mom and Kid go on a road trip, she gets a gun to kill the lady. Of course she can't pull the trigger because she's a decent human being. Surprise, Miles is also in the house now and he literally holds a knife in front of his former victim clearly signalling it's him. NOBODY STOPS HIM. NOBODY BUDGES. He fucking stabs the chick of course, brutally. Why the fuck not. Congrats everybody you did it you saved Miles except SURPRISE WAIT THE MOM WANTS TO SAVE THE GIRL NOW. JUST COMMIT YOU'RE DOING THIS TO SAVE MILES I THOUGHT??????????

  • Run out to the woods, hungarian boy starts taunting mom saying it's too late etc etc whatever. Mom WHIPS out the pistol and has a fucking standoff with him which felt like the cherry on top to whatever nonsense happened in the last half of this movie. queue everyone important except Miles being dead and he probably grows up to keep murdering people.

It feels like when they were writing this, they did it in two different teams and didn't match up what people wrote until it was time to shoot and there was no going back. The flip flopping between smart characters and idiotic characters was jarring but at least it gave a few laughs.

TL;DR I felt so confused by this movie I had to rant about it here. I don't really even want it to be a good movie I just need to externalize wtf I witnessed

level 1
10 points · 2 months ago

Im not saying that there needed to be a happy ending, but the fact that Miles is dead, the mom is dead, the author is dead, the dog is dead, the dad is in a coma AND the killer guy wins is just too bleak for me. And it’s bleak for seemingly no reason.

level 1
6 points · 2 months ago

We Need to Talk About Miles

level 1

The acting and directing were good overall and there were some very creepy aspects to the movie however i could not get over the second half to the end if the movie. The amount of ridiculous and just outright stupid decisions made by this seemingly intelligent couple had me actually mad at the screen. The lack of communication between the two if them just made things so much worse and they basically just let themselves get killed. And then worst of all is the women in the end just letting herself get stabbed by an 8 year old after he taunted her and brandished a knife in her face about 5 feet from her. He was literally kicking distance theres just no way he gets that jump on her.

level 2

No way in hell would that little bastard be riding in the back seat of the car with me.

level 2

I wonder how strong that little kid actually was while being possessed by the serial killer. He was able to put a pretty big hole in his dad's stomach and chop up a dog pretty easily.

I think the couple started developing issues as soon as Miles starting going haywire, so it's somewhat reasonable expect them to make irrational decisions.

level 3

What irrational is you hear you child speaking another language in his sleep and you don’t immediately go tell your husband. Or how you decide to tell the kid youre taking him to an insane asylum in the middle of the car ride instead of coming up with a far better excuse

level 1

I’m sorry but nobody noticed the stab wound the husband had after the car accident? Theres no way that wouldn’t have been identified as a stab wound from the clippers.

level 1
5 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Just got back from this. I'll be brief.


  • Awesome to see the Orion Pictures logo on a big screen again. Was and still am a huge fan.

  • Excellent jump scares. I really enjoyed the adult head on a child's body scene....very creepy.

  • All the actors are fine. The mother isn't some clueless, stupid adult being outsmarted by an 8-year old. They desperately want to dispose of this kid and surprisingly blow off all the medical attention thrown at them by the two shrinks.

I did not see the death of the mother coming at all.


Final Thoughts

Not a bad film. The cinematography is good and crisp and the director has some skill, but it could have been better.

level 2

Same thing I said about the adult head while doing the Rubiks cube. That was freaky!

level 3

I don't know why, but I laughed my ass off at that

level 2

I felt that the ending should've had the mother kill the author in an attempt to exorcise the Creepy Hungarian from her kid. It works, but Miles has no memory of any of the events that led up to it and basically "wakes up" standing next to his mother in front of the author's dead body (earlier in the film, the reincarnation psychologist even says that once the spirit is expelled, the child has no recollection of the events where the spirit was in charge). Mom is arrested for murder and Dad is in intensive care and Miles is left wondering what happened, possibly thinking that his mother went crazy.

I think that that would work really well as a commentary on how far a mother would be willing to go for her son. And if they wanted to do a sequel (as the real ending implied), they could just explain that Creepy Hungarian was still in Miles, but just laying dormant.

All that said, I won't criticize a movie for not going in the direction I wanted it to, but I do feel the ending they had was pretty weak.

level 1

It kept me entertained, I didn't find myself wondering how much longer until the movie was over like I did with Halloween, now that movie sucked. The one thing that felt completely out of place was the father and son dynamic, did not feel like father and son at all, maybe it needed better writing, acting, I don't really know. I'd give the movie a 6.5/10

level 2

Yeah, Dad felt like an asshole boyfriend at best and completely disappeared from the movie at worst.

I also liked the sequence of:

Dad: "I would never hit my kid."

Miles: "Like your dad did to you?"

Dad: "You little shit! I'll kill you! Hold me back, honey!"

That was a little ridiculous.

level 1

The scene where Miles momentarily transforms into Peter Dinklage brought down the house with laughter. How did that survive the final cut?

Overall, it's a pretty weird movie in terms of its structure. It feels like they discovered the truth about what was wrong fairly quickly, and it didn't really take too long for them to accept that the boy is not quite possessed. The movie is only about 90 minutes, but it feels like I'm waiting for the climax for over half of that runtime.

As for the kid, I think he did a pretty good job with the material he was given. Granted, it's pretty easy to make a kid creepy when he's constantly silhouetted, but he also does a good job creating two contrasting personalities.

Someone had mentioned there was a twist at the end of the movie and... is there? I mean, yes? Kinda? In terms of narrative, I guess it subverts expectations, except I've seen loads of creepy kid movies, and this ending is pretty standard for a bunch of them.

Is it still a twist if the narrative subversion is totally expected in this genre? Like, if it's revealed Freddy is still "alive" at the end of a new Nightmare on Elm Street movie, after seemingly being defeated in the climax, is that a twist?

Overall, not the worst movie out right now, or in its subgenre of horror films, but not especially noteworthy either.

Really hope it doesn't become a franchise. Not really sure how it'd even be done other than "poorly."


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