Horror movies are expected to be scary, but when it comes to director Nicholas McCarthy's new film The Prodigy, the level of terror reached an unexpected level even for him. In fact, The Prodigy, which stars Taylor Schilling, is so scary that McCarthy had to go back and re-edit a scene because the test audience couldn't stop screaming. (You know, just in case you had any doubt about if this film would give you nightmares or not.)
"I'll say this," McCarthy teased to Entertainment Weekly about the movie, which is slated to hit theaters on Feb. 8, 2019. “The first time we previewed the movie, there is a section where people screamed so loud that we had to go back and re-edit the scene that followed it, because people were still recovering from what they had just seen, and they were missing the dialogue.”
Schilling, best known for her role as Piper in Orange Is the New Black, plays the role of a woman named Sarah, whose young son Miles (played by Jackson Robert Scott) starts exhibiting very disturbing behavior that suggests his body has been inhabited by an evil, supernatural being. It's a storyline McCarthy has always been eager to explore. "Four years ago, I was sent a script for this movie," he recalled to EW. "For the first half, I was thinking, 'Wow, this is a really interesting, and creepy, and twisted variation on the evil kid subgenre.' But then the script just went to this place that I couldn’t believe. That's what made me go from, 'Here's a movie I think might be cool' to, 'Here's a movie that's gotta be made.'"
A teaser for the film can be found below, giving viewers a sense of what to expect and the scare level they should prepare for.
The trailer focuses mostly on Miles in a therapy session with the therapist attempting a round of hypnosis so that he can speak to the creature or thing residing inside of the child. There's also a brief glimpse of Schilling's character, who awakes in the middle of the night to find her son just standing in the shadows out in the hallway. When asked what's wrong, he says that he's scared, but when she beckons him toward her, ready to comfort him in her arms, he morphs into someone (or rather something) else.
McCarthy didn't go on to explain exactly which scene it was that he needed to go back and change, but if this teaser is any indication, fans will still be able to get plenty of scares in during their time in the theater. (That is, if they can keep their eyes open long enough to see what's happening.)
So what exactly is it that has taken up residence inside of Miles and, perhaps even more importantly, will he be able to get out of this ordeal alive? You'll just have to watch the movie to find out one way or the other, but you can at least take comfort in knowing that as scary as the film may be, it could've ended up being a lot worse.