Joshua

2007

Drama / Horror

2
IMDb Rating 5.9

Synopsis


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English
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105 min
P/S 69 / 143
1.29G
Normal
English
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105 min
P/S 109 / 118

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SomethingJustDiedInHere 8

I had been waiting quite impatiently for the release of Joshua from the moment I saw the trailer. Unlike the people who walked out of the theater, I was not disappointed. But that doesn&#39;t mean you won&#39;t be. Joshua is clearly not a movie for the everyman and it never really tries to be.<br/><br/>It is a story about a boy who longs to be understood by parents who choose to watch from the sidelines. The previews made the boy seem like he was just a creepy weirdo, but it becomes obvious quite quickly why he is the way he is. Joshua tells his father that he does not like soccer and baseball. In an attempt to seem open-minded and understanding, his father tells him that it&#39;s okay and that he should just do what he wants (without ever asking exactly what it is that his son wants). His mother just doesn&#39;t care as long as she&#39;s not bothered.<br/><br/>Dark, disturbing, creepy, but occasionally sadistically humorous, events unfold slowly (much to the dismay of people expecting shock after gratuitous shock) proving Joshua to be a far more calm and calculating boy than originally perceived. Jacob Kogan&#39;s performance is reminiscent of Haley Joel Osment in A.I. (if that character were a sadistic schemer). He is the only character who stands out and I believe this was intentional; the other characters can tell, right along with the audience, that the boy ain&#39;t quite right.<br/><br/>This movie is certainly not for the impatient and/or those who need to be smacked in the face repeatedly to stay awake during movies. But if you want a movie that slowly and coolly toys with your mind until the very end, Joshua will likely deliver what you are looking for.

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Reviewed by a-papke 7

This film is so good, I saw it twice at Sundance. Certainly the best at the &#39;07 festival. Unlike modern horror films, &quot;Joshua&quot; does not rely upon blood and gore to deliver its impact. Director George Ratliff weaves a tale of mounting dread and tension through stunning performances, brilliant cinematography (for which it won the Sundance &#39;07 Best Cinematography Award) and haunting music.<br/><br/>The premise of the film is simple and genius, a parent&#39;s worst nightmare: what would happen if your 10 yr old child felt no love for you at all? As a society we fetish-ize childhood, romanticize their innocence, deify their pure potentiality, and self-sacrifice for their unconditional love. Given our biological and societal predilection/preoccupation towards nurturing our youth, could a parent possibly even understand or recognize that their child doesn&#39;t want their love? Instead of a child beaming with unconditional love and the positive youthful energy, Joshua is an empty shell devoid of anything resembling emotion ? and the effect is a chilling abomination. As a final hook, the question emerges, Is the kid bad because the parents secretly failed him somehow, or is the kid just pure evil? &quot;Joshua&quot; kept me entranced to the final frame.<br/><br/>The acting is monumental, especially Vera Farmiga who&#39;s battle with psychotic post partum depression is mind-blowingly realized. Jacob Kogan masters the thousand-mile dead eyed stare of the sociopathic titular character who steals every scene with a chilling, Mensa-like gravitas unusual in any actor, much less one so young. The music, mostly modern dissonant pieces played by Joshua on his grand piano, echoes Joshua&#39;s character: haunting and creepy yet perfectly composed and structured. The cinematography subtly changes as the film progresses, starting out colorful and normal, but then gradually growing darker, uglier and more claustrophobic, until the climax where the film looks like it was shot in Hell itself.<br/><br/>Like Hannibal, I found myself rooting for the &quot;bad guy&quot; who is a fascinating paradox: charming, talented, brilliant and self-composed but flawed to lack even the most remote shred of human empathy. I&#39;ve heard a lot of comparisons to &quot;The Omen,&quot; &quot;The Exorcist&quot; and &quot;Rosemary&#39;s Baby,&quot; but these films have nothing in common with &quot;Joshua&quot; except that they are horror films dealing with parenthood gone awry. The horror element here is psychological, not supernatural, and it&#39;s interwoven with a great deal of social irony that makes this film much more fun to watch. Also, unlike those other films, the &quot;problem child&quot; in this film emerges as a fully realized personality, not just a plot device ? mostly due to the great performance by Jacob Kogan, who somehow accomplishes the impossible task of being lovable and hateful at the same time. The whole thing is directed masterfully by George Ratliff who steers the film between tension and laughter to achieve a thrilling and creepy film that is intelligent and amusing ? and keeps us guessing - to the end.

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Reviewed by ThrownMuse 6

This is a very strange and unconventional horror/thriller with fantastic performances by Vera Farmiga and Jacob Kogan. Usually kid actors in horror films bug me (I&#39;m lookin&#39; at you, new OMEN kid!), but this little dude totally creeped me out in a Martin Stephens kind of way. It&#39;s an excellent performance and one of the best things this offbeat movie has going for it. This movie&#39;s plot sounds like typical &quot;Bad Seed&quot; ground, but it twists and turns into really bizarre territory, disorienting the viewer to the point where you have no idea where it&#39;s going or where it&#39;s been. I&#39;m still not sure if I even liked it, but it did make me feel incredibly uneasy, and I guess that&#39;s worth something.

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