Joshua is a psychological horror film about a disturbed child, in the
manner of The Bad Seed, The Omen, and Rosemary's Baby. It is clear from the opening scene that
nine-year-old Joshua is a creepy kid. He is practicing a spooky Bartok piece
for a school recital. His grooming is impeccable, his diction precise, and he
wears a tie around the house. He is precocious, excels in school, and is about
to be promoted two grades.
He is also sick to
death of his new baby sister. This doesn't bode well for the family.
When his fundamentalist
grandmother and the rest of the family sing the baby to sleep, he has had
enough, and vomits. From then on, he systematically gives his mother post-partum depression and eventually gets her committed.
Then he kills his grandmother
and gets his dad jailed. As the film ends, he is starting to work on
The film is dark from start to finish, with an innocent baby, who is
sort of a non-entity/victim, surrounded by unpleasant characters: the creepy Joshua,
the terminally depressed mother, and the screwed up religious mother-in-law.
The entire scenario is made still darker by the fact that the adults don't
really see what's coming and never have a chance against the insidiously
I won't be watching Joshua again. For
my money, it was just a hugely depressing and unrewarding film.
I don't have a lot to add to Tuna's comments, just a couple of minor
(1) I took no pleasure from the film at all. Most films, even poor ones, leave
us with some rewarding moments: a memorable scare, a good laugh or song, a story that keeps us glued to the set, a good feeling, a bit of
education ... something. I really didn't find any such moments in this film. The
storyline and character development are predicable, and there is nothing especially memorable
to take away from it. If you were recalling this with friends five years from
now, it would be hard to pin down in terms of: "You know, the one with the ..."
(2) Let it be said that it is quite a competent film. If you could take it back
to 1969 in a time machine and claim it as your own, you'd probably win some
awards. But this is not 1969, and I didn't feel like the film had anything new
to offer 2007.