I love a good horror gimmick. The genre has always been a home to hucksterism and it’s always a thrill when a movie gets that flourish of good old fashioned promotion right. Leave it to the good folks at Fons PR to put together something as bonkers as a private pregnant-only screening of The Prodigy, hosted at the Alamo Drafthouse (home of the women-only screening of Wonder Woman and the clown-only screening of IT).
Orion Pictures’ maternal horror movie The Prodigy stars Taylor Schilling as Sarah, mother to a young son who starts exhibiting signs that he might just be an evil little bastard. But The Prodigy isn’t exactly your average demon baby movie, saving some fun twists and turns from the audience. Director Nicholas McCarthy pulled off a similar trick with his under-seen haunted house/slasher hybrid The Pact, so get ready for a surprising journey through the terrors of parenting.
Here’s what McCarthy had to say when he found out there was going to be a screening for expectant mothers:
“My first reaction when I learned there would be a pregnant-only screening of my movie was that this was the greatest day of my life. Seriously: this is like the core audience for this movie. It’s about a mother/son relationship. And here’s this poor captive group of women watching it, and likely too tired to leave the theater if they get too scared”
Asked how he expected parents to react, McCarthy added:
Given the theme of our movie, I fully expect every one of these women to give their children up for adoption, and then turn to a life’s mission of providing contraception to women and men everywhere.
Again, seriously: I’d like to think that the film will be cathartic for them since it’s about a worst nightmare situation as a parent. They’re going to be laughing, but I think because it will home. I hope they check in with me in eight years to let me know if they’ve grown terrified of their sons and daughters, I could use the material
The director also had a special message for the mothers-to-be in attendance:
Thank you for agreeing to watch THE PRODIGY when you are pregnant. You are all completely insane.
As the father of a child that is the same age as the boy in the movie, I can say with some certainty that you should not fear what you are going to see, because most of it likely won’t happen to you. MOST of it.
Also, enjoy going out at all because that privilege is about to be robbed from you for the next 20 years.
In all seriousness, I really do appreciate that you have come out to see the movie and hope you like it. You are wonderful people to come tonight, And, I repeat: completely insane.
So how did the screening go over? “In the best way possible….fuck that movie,” said one of the mothers in attendance. Another joked, “I’m having a girl so think I am all good.” For a more detailed screening recap, check in with our friends over at /FIlm, who were there in person.
The Prodigy arrives in theaters on February 8. Check out the official synopsis below.
Taylor Schilling stars in THE PRODIGY as Sarah, a mother whose young son Miles’ disturbing behavior signals that an evil, possibly supernatural force has overtaken him. Fearing for her family’s safety, Sarah must grapple with her maternal instinct to love and protect Miles in favor of investigating what – or who – is causing his dark turn. She is forced to look for answers in the past, taking the audience on a wild ride; one where the line between perception and reality remains blurry.