The arrival of a newborn girl causes the gradual disintegration of the Cairn family; particularly for 9-year-old Joshua (Kogan), an eccentric boy whose proper upbringing and refined tastes both take a sinister turn.
The Cairn's life seems to be a harmonic family: 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 the appearances are deceptive. Joshua becomes gradual jealously, that his parents give the baby more attention than him. Therefore he begins to terrorize his family.Written by
Joshua is a criminally underrated movie, presumably because it was marketed towards the horror crowd, the majority of which is bound not to be satisfied with it. It's not a gorefest. It's about something much more horrific. Imagine your world being manipulated by the person one would least expect, your weaknesses exploited, your reputation destroyed, the motive, the scheme, and the process never to be explained? The important thing is to see this impressively written and directed film without any substantial knowledge of the plot beforehand. It slowly unfolds, an ominous atmosphere slowly growing like a cancer.
Sam Rockwell, one of the most likable and natural contemporary actors, and Vera Farmiga, one of the most unassuming and realistic up-and-coming actresses, are perfectly cast, unlikely to be choices for a typical psychological thriller as disturbing as this one, making their drama more dramatic and disconcerting, having to do with the easily miscommunication of feelings between parents and young children.
Joshua's music score assists the the disturbing moments in this film with its brooding. The music young Joshua, a child piano prodigy, has a discernible penchant towards is very suitable dissonant classical pieces. Even the Dave Matthews song that closes the movie on its creepy, powerful final shot is a properly somber punctuation as the film leaves you blown away, having taken Rockwell's journey right along with him. George Ratliff is a very talented, promising new director who will hopefully follow up with a more appreciated film.
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