The Prodigy loses its intelligent setup by succumbing to generic jump scares. Think 'Orphan' with a dash of every other generic possession film you can think of. Just another "evil child" flick with minimal thrills, scares and one heck of a predictable story. A newborn child rapidly develops his brain quicker than most, to which he soon starts acting strangely and violently when he turns eight.
McCarthy is not the most well-known horror director, however he certainty does have an eye for atmospheric shots and suitably dim lighting. A young Robert Scott played the prodigy son brilliantly, by simply changing facial expression he was able to convey a murderous twinge to his character. Oh, and a few sentences about phallic organs that made me laugh out loud (although somewhat conniving...). There were one or two ominous moments, particularly when the son runs towards the camera in the dark, and I did jump out of my chair twice. Not because it was scary.
No, unfortunately this film graces us with the loudest, most obnoxious jump scares possible. Boy turns to mirror? Loud piercing noise! Light doesn't turn on? Block your ears! Boy says "I love you"? Well, you get the idea. As a horror, it's not scary. The themes of reincarnation and rebirthing have been executed before countless times, consequently making this experience a rather dull affair. Schilling and Feore's parental performances were mediocre at best and the film concludes unsatisfactorily in an attempt to open up for a sequel. A few plot decisions, such as the mother's choice to visit a victim's house, was just diabolically stupid and selfish. I mean really? These characters just didn't think like rational human beings, and that's what made the film worse. They all conformed to typical horror tropes, making this a highly unmemorable flick. Best to use your brain cells somewhere else.