Thursday, February 14, 2008

Joshua


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo


Plotline: Joshua is a little boy who just doesn't fit in with the rest of the kids. When his mom has a new baby, Joshua's habits seem to get stranger. And then the baby won't stop crying, and Joshua's mom becomes a bit unraveled. What will happen to the family?

Scariness factor: It's definitely not jump-in-your-seat scary, but it leaves you in a constant state of uneasiness, wondering what's going to happen next.



Gross-Out Factor: Nil.

Complaints: Honestly, I really quite liked this movie except for the very final scene (which was probably the last three minutes of the movie). The final scene I thought kind of took the punch out of the crescendo of the rest of the movie. Like I wanted something MORE, or something DIFFERENT, or SOMETHING. I was sort of just left wondering what the hell.

High Points: As I mentioned, I really enjoyed this movie quite a bit (thanks, Bijoux, for recommending it). I was a bit concerned because immediately, when it's a movie about a little dark-haired child, it's hard not to think The Omen (which is a lot to live up to), but the movie set my mind at ease about that--it doesn't feel like it's trying to cling to the same sort of themes that are in the other film. What was so chilling about this movie was how understated everything is. And how you're never quite sure what's happening. I didn't read anything about the movie before seeing it, so I was never quite sure what direction it was about to head off in: "Is the mom insane?" "Is there something wrong with Joshua?" Etc. And when things finally start to fall apart, even THAT becomes chilling because you're NEVER QUITE SURE until the very end. And the second to last scene is AWESOME and HARROWING and CHILLING, again, all in a strange and understated sort of way: you don't know whether to be horrified by Joshua or horrified by his dad. (Sam Rockwell plays the dad, btw, and he's awesome in it--but I tend to like him anything--which makes the movie feel that much more believable.) I mean seriously, all in all, if it weren't for the last three minutes of the movie, I think I would've been rather impressed. But unfortunately the last three minutes exist, but what can you do?



Overall: Boo the ending, but rent it for the rest of the film. Just don't expect high-paced action or scares. It's very quiet and understated, but that's what's so chilling about it.

Grade: B+

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2 Comments:

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Bijoux said...

Lindyloo - I too, felt that the little boy had a bit of that eerie Omen movie quality.

I also agree that it was an understated film in that it didn't have the traditional FX, gore, obvious spook factor but it still was able to provide enough creep factor to create suspense.

What kind of bothered me was Joshua's relationship with his uncle. Not sure what was happening between them and in the end...the comment the boy makes to his uncle leaves me with a "huh?"

I also found some scenes a bit predictable with the fate of the parents, especially the father.

Overall, I think that it was good but not great. I would probably give it a B.

Thanks for your review.

 
At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Lindy Loo said...

Yeah, thanks for your recommendation!

 

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