Joshua

2008-03-11 08:13
 
What it's about:

Joshua (Jacob Kogan) is an eccentric and intellectual little boy who barely connects with his yuppie parents. His already desolate family life takes a plunge when his parents have a new baby, causing their already shaky marriage to falter further, leaving him entirely to his own devices. He devises a disturbing plan to return things to the way they were, so he can live the life he wants.

What we thought of it:

Joshua is one of those films that has really been let down by marketing, and people who see it are either going to be pleasantly surprised, or leave the cinema feeling robbed. The fact that it is being touted as a thriller/horror really advertises its weakest points and it plays out far better as a brooding story of alienation and bitterness than it does any kind of "cute little kid goes psycho" movie.

Despite the lack of tense action, Joshua is pretty absorbing and the acting is uniformly good. Jacob Kogan manages to gain a lot of sympathy even when he is at his most cruel and calculating, which is no mean feat for such a young actor. It's the believable characters that make the story compelling, and this is Joshua's greatest asset.

Unfortunately, the gut wrenching opening leads to a second half that is just by-the-numbers thriller fodder, which actually does nothing with the drama and character development that preceded it.

Joshua is an interesting, yet flawed film that can't make up its mind whether it wants to be a thriller from The Omen mold or a complex family drama. The strong drama scenes will leave you reeling but the thrills are predictable. It's sometimes slow going, but never dull, and worth watching if you want to see something a little different.

- Ivan Sadler
A lonely young boy finds himself totally ignored by his family when a new baby arrives, and decides to take matters into his own hands.

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