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|Index||85 reviews in total|
Admittedly, I didn't watch the whole movie. I wanted to like it but it was so poor I had to turn it off. The direction is very weak and the music is entirely inappropriate. The characters appear to have been purchased as a job-lot from StereotypesRUs and the script comes across as contrived and unnatural. The opening title sequence has really annoying music and you can't wait for it to be over. When it finally ends it feels like you stopped having your thumb hit by a hammer, but then you get Scene One. This is the most artificial first scene ever put on a screen. A domestic portrait of a family with the mother and baby, the grandparents, the uncle and the sibling at the piano, the father with the video camera. Everyone conspicuously 'acting' out the family portrait. The piano playing in the background re-inflames the nerve that the opening music had antagonized, and continues to do so. After what seems like an aeon the mother tells the kid to stop playing the piano. After this it starts again and if you don't switch it off at this point in utter fury then you're thicker skinned than I am. What an annoying load of amateur garbage. The rest of the movie may have had some redeeming features but I'll never find out because the first fifteen minutes is like having your eyes, eardrums and brain sandpapered.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I think this movie was fantastic. If you are looking for a horror film in this movie you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a unique thriller then this movie is for you. I saw it at the video store and rented because Sam Rockwell was in it. Otherwise I wouldn't of even bothered. When I watched it I was shocked how good it was. The bad reviews I have read are only from those people who expected a horror film like The Omen. This is the type of movie that you will watch over and over and realize what a good story it actually is. The way the movie all adds up at the end is worth it. Very shocking. Anyway that is my opinion.
The script leaves a lot of questions open which is not necessarily a
bad thing, but it is also one of those films where you are questioning
the characters actions constantly. That being said, Ratliff does a
terrific job with the material. The cast is excellent and the
characters are all richly drawn. The music added so much to the mood. I
just loved how the film progresses in days of baby Lily's life. It
starts on day 1 and then moves to day 9 or something. It adds to the
creepiness as we watch the evil that Joshua inflicts over a span of 3
months or so. Ratliff is someone to keep an eye on. I think he just may
turn out to be an important filmmaker. Time will tell but this is one
great effort. Creepy as creepy can be.
I watched the film as a DVD double feature with "Vitus" which is an excellent companion piece. Vitus is a very positive tale about another gifted child with great piano skills. Vitus is the antithesis of Joshua, and the film is a total feel good film. Kind of helps to cleanse the old creepy feeling out of you after watching Joshua.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of I want to mention to Bob Z(who posted a comment on here),there is nothing gay or anti-gay about the film Joshua and I have no idea what your weird comment was about and it offended me.I know you have a right to your opinions but it came out of left field.To my knowledge the movie had nothing to do with homosexuality,but if anything is anti-gay it's your comment on it. Yes Joshua's uncle may have been gay but it was never established so maybe he was or maybe he wasn't.He was artistic and into music like his nephew so they just had common interests.As for the ending and Josh being happy to have his uncle as his guardian after supposedly getting his parents out of the way,it could simply be just that he related better to him.His dad was a bit too straight laced and into sports and his mom was mentally ill and flying off the handle so he is probably better off with his uncle.I do agree that the movie mocked Christianity and all the negative comments about it in the movie were uncalled for.The movie wasn't a comedy so the whole Christian/Jew thing was kind of stupid. What is unclear is whether Joshua did all the devious things we think like push his grandma to her death,drive his mom to insanity,try to harm his little sister,kill the family dog,and frame his own dad for child abuse.Or is he innocent and just intelligent and misunderstood!The dog was old and could have died naturally,his mother was already out of her mind,his grandma could have slipped and fell since no one witnessed it,and his dad may have been guilty of child abuse because of Joshua's bruises and the drawings etc.The problem with this movie is it's not clear what is happening.It is too easy to assume Joshua is a conniving psychopath,but then maybe he is!I'm not sure what the producer or writer had in mind.I hope there is a sequel so it can all be wrapped up because the ending was too confusing. Bob Z was right though when he mentioned the similarities between the Manhatten apartment in this movie and Rosemary's baby.Otherwise I have no idea why anyone is comparing this movie to the Omen,the Shinning or Rosemary's baby because Joshua is not even a horror and especially not a supernatural one about a ghost or the devil's child.It's a drama with a little suspense possibly about an evil boy with an agenda but that's it.It is more like "the good son" which was another drama about a disturbed boy.I enjoyed Joshua but it could have been more dramatic and frightening. I thought it may have been more like "Mikey" which was another movie about a demented/disturbed boy except Mikey was a 5 year old cold blooded serial killer.Now that was a gory and disturbing movie,but Michael,Freddy and Jason were kids once too!
Oh my god this is a howling postmodern mess of a movie. Every cliché is employed from Polanski to BATTLESHIP POTEMKIIN to PSYCHO to the EXORCIST the OMEN etc, every red herring is present, the makers seemingly couldn't figure out what story they wanted to tell and every character is played so miserably that no one elicits any sort of emotional response from the viewer except for cynicism or revulsion and a lingering sense of disgust with oneself for having actually sat through this crap. One scene actually drags a character through broken glass. I've heard the metaphor "a drag through broken glass" used often, but I've never seen any film maker be audacious enough to attempt it. Well, the makers of JOSHUA did. This is one of the few works I've seen that portrays mental illness in such a callous manner that one actually wants to beat the victim of the disorder. No explanation for any abberration is present, people are just no damn good, society is just no damn good, kids are little devils, the world is going to hell. Like witnesses to an auto accident, we are compelled to watch, and that's the best that can be said for this abomination. And like many witness to a car wreck, I can't identify who or what was at fault. But boy, is this movie stinko, from start to finish. JOSHUA is truly stunning in its lack of coherence or human empathy. The only thing scary about this film is the idea of an audience actually enjoying it. Don't bother with this one, life is too short.
Old and familiar story
The evil child line. It's a good base for any
script, but it's what you do with it that counts and I am sorry to say,
this team didn't do anything with it.
The movie has really slow pace, and when I say "slow" I mean standing. We understand that Joshua is the bad kid, evil kid, murderous kid or whatever, we understand it from the title, from the movie picture and from what not!? But people that's the problem, because the movie isn't going anywhere! OK, so the actors play nice, I would even say good acting, but why is the script so boring and repetitive? From the point to the movie starts, and to the point the movie ends not many events occur. You actually getting angry while watching because you can't figure out what's so wrong about this people! To closer, The only reason I've seen it cause most of the evil kids movie I've seen were very good, I didn't think you could mess up such good story I guess this director and writer did it.
OK, so just in case you haven't seen the move, THE TRAILER IS PRETTY
MISLEADING. When people watch the trailer, it leads them to believe
that "Joshua" is something like "The Good Son" - a cool film about a
psycho little brat who just likes to kill people for one reason or
another. "Joshua" is something else entirely, and ten times what I was
expecting when I rented the DVD.
Joshua is not a child psychotic - he's a boy with an IQ much, much higher than the norm, and he knows that he's living in an environment that's not healthy. But, he is still a child and he's not really had enough experience in the world to know what's crossing the line between right and wrong. It also helps that his face is very cute but can easily be very scary at the same time. Like a little Cillian Murphy.
When watching the film for the second time, I realized that it makes the parents out to be bad characters without them actually being bad. They are the reason Joshua wants out and the reason he's a little bit whacked. When he was born, it turned their home into a hellhole, driving his parents (mostly the mother)insane to the point of having him surrounded only by rage and anger. The mother is still pretty crazy and the father over-stressed and over-worked, and Joshua manipulates that to his advantage.
All the performances are COMPLETELY believable, and only enhanced by the fact that none of the actors are recognizable and therefore seem more like someone you may meet on the street. Jacob Kogan's acting was on par with the intensity and believability of Haley Joel Osment's in The Sixth Sense. The intelligence of this film is beyond anything that I have seen before in thrillers of similar subjects, and moves the rest of them WAY down in rank.
20/10. No question.
I can't believe the overall rating on this film was a paltry 6.0, thus
it's obviously up to me to do all that is in my power to make sure this
film get to at least a 6.5, or more on IMDb, seeing that this number
represents my cut off point for what I'll view on film; unless, of
course, I've seen the film and fallen in love with it before I've
visited IMDb, then, my personal rating cut off point trumps IMDb, and I
won't feel like I've just wasted 2 hours, the time it takes watch a
movie while stuffing my face with popcorn. Joshua is one of those
movies which I fell in love with at the theater, watching it twice,
just because I wanted to see the closing scene just one more time.
This movie seriously reminded of a type of Exorcist but without the supernatural agency of evil and special effects which at times can confuse and reduce the art of film making to an amusement park theme. Joshua was just pure evil; no let me rephrase: If you ever wanted to know what pure evil is then Joshua represents the carbon copy definitive energy vibration of such a manifestation. Joshua, in time will be a cult classic, only its so dark I doubt if it will ever go mainstream, due to the fact that it utterly demonizes a certain group in our society, which I'm sure do not want the added label of masochistic & sadists.
Truly one of the most vulgar movies I've ever seen. Jacob Kogan did a spectacular job. I cant tell you how many times I wanted to kick some anti rational sense into this child until love manifested; first rate acting - my blood ran cold. Kogan should do some pretty good work if he can keeps his personality and mind together through puberty; a truly wonderful recruit to the film badboys, yea, weze baby, bop bop bop! The psychological dynamics of this film is what I found most interesting. the fact that a child can learn just about anything in our society even Sun Tzu warfare and complete dysfunctional passionate obsession, but not love, is the one great symbolic message in Joshua which rings true and resonated on my psyche most after watching this film. My new cut off for viewing films is 6.1 on IMDb thanks to Joshua.
I thought that The Devil Child was a great horror film it is about a family called The Cairn's. The father Brad works as a stockbroker,his wife Abby takes care of their common new-born daughter Lily, and the 9-year-old Joshua is high-talented. But Joshua becomes gradually more jealous that his parents are giving the baby more attention than him. In Manhattan,stockbroker Brad Cairn and his wife Abby are celebrating their newborn daughter Lily in their new apartment with Brad's mother Hazel and Abby's brother, Ned Davidoff. Joshua is extremely intelligent and talented, and he is feeling neglected and jealous of Lily, trying to get more attention from his parents and relatives. When the baby is nineteen days old, she starts crying, everyday which causes Abby to have a nervous breakdown. Joshua's dad Brad asks if Joshua can stay with his grandmother and Lily, for a holiday. Joshua goes to the museum one day with his grandmother Brad runs to the museum and he sees Joshua with Hazel in the top of the stairs and Hazel his grandmother is about to fall down the stairs. I would recommend people to see this people as it is very good. 7/10
"Joshua" is "Fatal Attraction" for the indie crowd. There's a formula
here, and for the most part, the film sticks to it. But because it's
not a big studio production, the filmmakers are allowed to have a
little fun with it. And, unlike, "Audition," the changes work.
Brad and Abby Carin (Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga) have just welcomed their new baby girl, Lily, into their family. They already have one son, Joshua (Jacob Kogan), and a dog. But this happy family begins to generate tension: Abby has post-partum depression, and it's getting worse. This leaves Brad to balance the stressful homelife AND the office. Brad brings in his mother Hazel (Celia Weston) to help, and his brother-in-law Ned (Dallas Roberts) is also on call when the need arises. But in the midst of all the chaos, everyone's forgetting about little Joshua...
The most important thing in a movie like this is a good villain, and let me tell you, does this film have one! Joshua, as played by Jacob Kogan, is seriously creepy. Without saying a word, Kogan can make your blood run cold. Some people may find this to be a "spoiler," but in this type of a movie, it's a given.
The rest of the cast is good as well. Vera Farmiga is excellent as Abby. A lesser actress would have gone over the top when portraying her volatile mood, but Farmiga portrays Abby without a hint of artifice. Sam Rockwell, one of the many stars on the rise, is equally good. His part isn't as showy as Farmiga's (or Kogan's), but Rockwell is terrific as Brad, who's a loving husband and father with a relentlessly positive attitude and easy-going personality. Still, this film belongs to Kogan.
There are two things that elevate "Joshua" from routine to near brilliant (other than a creepy Kogan): believable characters and scares. Brad and Abby react to the stresses of raising a newborn realistically. It's not just what they do, it's how they do it: everything they do seems completely real and natural. Credit must go to the actors for pulling this off. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the scares come from situations that could easily come from real-life. I'm not going to tell any of them here, but take my word for it.
George Ratliff does wonderful work here. He has complete control of his actors, and he fully utilizes Kogan's facial features for optimal effect (this is key in a film, ESPECIALLY in a thriller). However, there are a few (albeit minor) problems. The background piano noise runs for far too long in the beginning, so long that it becomes annoying. Secondly, he seems to forget about Joshua for long periods of time. Why would a film ignore its central character? "Joshua" has gotten polarized reviews. But if you ask me, see "Joshua." Kreepy Kogan will give you nightmares for weeks.
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