The Prodigy loudly proclaims that it is not an Exorcist clone. It runs so far from the Catholic Church that it ends up in the Far East. This is not a possession, it’s a reincarnation.
Something that is a sacred truth and is usually benign and regenerative for billions gets twisted into the conventions of the Hollywood horror narrative.
This being a natural possession and not a supernatural one there are no whole head revolutions, no religious mumbo-jumbo, no levitations; just what evil humans do during their alive time on earth— whackings, stabbings, and a lot of bad mouthing. And since this a man in possession of a child’s body apparently parental mores and child labor laws prohibit the on screen showing of pubescent drinking, smoking, four letter profanity and evil fornication.
The twist is how effectively The Prodigy manages to graft the conventions of the serial killer genre onto a bad seed narrative. Taylor Schilling’s performance generates suspense in making one wonder how far this mother would really go to save the soul of her son. Would she cross that taboo line to child murderer?
The only answer is to go and watch The Prodigy.
Al photos courtesy of Orion Pictures.