Note: Contains major spoilers for The Prodigy and its ending
Orange Is the New Black star Taylor Schilling makes her horror movie debut in The Prodigy, now available to watch on Netflix, and it's certainly got people talking.
Directed by The Pact's Nicholas McCarthy, the movie is the latest 'creepy kid' horror offering as Schilling plays Sarah, a mother whose son Miles (IT's Jackson Robert Scott) starts to show signs of disturbing behaviour.
Before you can say "demon", The Prodigy offers a unique spin on possession horror as Sarah is forced to choose between protecting her son and protecting everyone else from him – or whatever he now is.
We already knew that one part was so scary that the movie had to be re-edited because the audience was "missing the dialogue". But even that won't prepare you for what awaits in the controversial ending which we're about to delve into now, so be warned that massive spoilers await.
The Prodigy actually sets its 'twist' out in the opening sequence as Sarah gives birth to Miles, while serial killer Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux) is killed during a police raid after his intended victim Margaret St James (Brittany Allen) escapes.
Initially, Miles just develops quicker than other children his age, but once he turns eight, he starts to showcase more disturbing behaviour, such as tricking his babysitter into walking barefoot onto a broken glass and beating up his classmate with a wrench. Sarah also discovers that Miles is talking Hungarian in his sleep and he also likes paprika now, too.
Sarah is told by Arthur Jacobson (Colm Feore) that an unknown spirit is trying to take control of Miles, but she doesn't believe him until she discovers that Miles has killed the family dog.
She takes him back to Arthur and, during a hypnotism, Arthur discovers that Edward Scarka is the spirit inside of Miles and Arthur tells Sarah that to save Miles, she has to work out the killer's unfinished business. Like Miles, Scarka – who had Hungarian parents – has two different coloured eyes and he died at the exact same time that Miles was born.
After Miles causes a car crash that hospitalises his father, Sarah discovers newspaper clippings of Scarka survivor Margaret (who led the police to him), as well as the book she wrote about her experience.
To save Miles by completing Scarka's unfinished business, Sarah decides to kill Margaret and goes to her house, posing as a victim inspired by her book.
Sarah can't go through with it, but Miles sneaks in and stabs Margaret before disembowelling her. Yes, that's right, an eight-year-old brutally kills the survivor of a serial killer. Oh, and she's one-handed because Scarka liked to take the hands of his victims before killing them.
For Schilling, Sarah's initial decision to kill an innocent person to save her son made sense and was "the most compelling aspect" when she read the script.
"She is losing her family, so I don't think any of her choices are completely logical or rational. She is in this fugue state based solely on survival: The survival of her husband, the survival of her son, and the survival of her family as a whole," she told the Los Angeles Times.
"The progression of her actions didn't seem unimaginable to some of the parents I spoke to. In fact, some said her choices made sense. Sarah felt complete responsibility for Miles' well-being, and her final choice was an outgrowth of that. She was willing to go to any length to preserve what she knew of her son."
Unfortunately for Sarah, Scarka reveals that he has already taken full control of Miles's body and her little boy is gone forever. She attempts to kill him, but a farmer spots her trying to shoot an eight-year-old boy and kills her to save 'Miles'.
Since his father is in hospital, 'Miles' is put into a foster home and the final shot we see is him looking into a mirror and Scarka looking back at him. Brrrr.
The Prodigy is now available to watch on Netflix.
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