Parents' Guide to

The Prodigy

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Graphic violence, language in "bad seed" horror movie.

Movie R 2019 100 minutes
The Prodigy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 14+

Not too scary

I think this movie would be OK for a young teen with a good maturity level. It wasn't too gory. There are no sex scenes. The worst part that would be u comfortable to watch is when the boy is talking to the therapist, he says some pretty vulgar things. It's hard to hear these things come out of a childs mouth.
1 person found this helpful.
age 15+

good movie

There is a lot of violence but because it is a horror movie it is to be expected, there was animal abuse of a dog not going to spoil it but it is pretty bad. There is also a rape and it was disscribed it also used the word pubic hair on the private parts when they raped them but, It is a good movie for 15 and up in my opinion, also there is a lot of cursing there is also a COMPLETELY naked baby (You can see everything) also a man not dressed you can see everything expet his penis so overall a good movie

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (14):

Clever direction and moody, effective cinematography can't quite rescue this horror movie from some confounding clichés. The Prodigy leads viewers to believe that it's going to rise above the genre when the adults figure out pretty early on that something very wrong is happening. But, nope. They proceed to make pretty much every possible bad choice to enable the horror to roll right along. That's a real issue when the gag isn't particularly original to begin with: This film fits neatly into the Bad Seed horror subgenre, along with The Omen, The Good Son, Orphan, and many others, albeit with its own slight wrinkles. But to say those bells and whistles make it original would be to give sole credit to Vanilla Ice for "Under Pressure."

The film isn't terrible. Director Nicholas McCarthy and cinematographer Bridger Nielson have worked together frequently, and it shows. There's a seamlessness to the use of imagery to set tone and convey information. The opening sequence, for instance, could be said to reveal too much, leaving audiences to sit and wait for the evil to emerge in the kid. But the way it's presented, with some thoughtful matching of images, shows promise. The movie's atmospheres are suitably foreboding and draped in poisonous shadows. And the performances are solid throughout: Schilling and Mooney are believable as a couple facing something unimaginable, and young Scott is outstanding in the most demanding role. But the characters' terrible decisions seem nakedly required for plot purposes, crippling any hope for tension or surprise. The movie also relies too heavily on startle scares. It does go to darker places than usual for most horror movies, but even that isn't new or different -- at least, not enough to make The Prodigy especially memorable.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate