THE PRODIGY

Cert 15 92mins Stars 3

Maternal anxiety is taken to a diabolical new dimension in this US supernatural horror which swings wildly from agreeably scary to shockingly silly.

A couple’s suburban happiness is made complete with the arrival of a son who is identified from an early age as prodigiously clever, but unknown to them has a mysterious connection to a hand-collecting psychopathic killer.

When Miles’ turns eight years old he begins terrorising the babysitter and the family dog, beating up his fellow pupils at his expensive school for the gifted, and crushing spiders with a grim intensity.

It’s fortunate for us his mother is played by Taylor Schilling whose best known as prisoner Piper Chapman from TV’s Orange Is the New Black, and her talent for essaying fear, compassion, desperation and moral flexibility is put to very effective use.

Undermined by psychobabble and dunderheaded dialogue, The Prodigy is at its best when its slasher tendencies bypass the brain and go directly for the gut.

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