Evil has a new name in Joshua, a terrifying suspense-thriller that "keeps us guessing until the stunner finish" (New York Daily News)! The Cairn's (Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga) have it all: good marriage, nice apartment, a gifted nine-year-old son, Joshua, and a baby on the way. When their second child arrives, the young boy begins to resent his parents constant doting on his new sister. Suddenly, a series of tragic events fill the Cairn household with utter despair and unspeakable horror. The events leave the family questioning if it's all a series of eerie coincidences... or the calculated agenda of a sinister sibling with the perfect plan for revenge?
Director George Ratliff, who also made Hell House
, a fascinating documentary about Christian haunted houses constructed to scare kids straight, offers his version of the possessed child horror movie with Joshua
. In the establishing scenes, nine year-old piano prodigy, Joshua (Jacob Kogan), is a vision of perfection, even as his new baby sister, Lily, takes up their parents' time a little too often. As time unfolds, indicated cinematically by text describing the baby's days alive on screen, Joshua's jealousy serves as the springboard for his mental and physical manifestations of violence and detached emotion. Somewhere mid-film, parents Brad and Abby Cairn (Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga) begin to piece together Joshua's disturbing behavior, but as they seek him help Joshua finds ways to sabotage their plans. Like many of the great films about evil-doing children, such as The Omen
, The Exorcist
, and The Bad Seed
, the star's ability to play a maladjusted youth is all, and Jacob Kogan does a wonderful job. Additionally, Rockwell and Farmiga excel at portraying parents fraught with fear and exhaustion. Joshua
is not a gory movie as is some of its predecessors, but there is enough psychological tension to make this drama worthy of honor amongst other films in its genre. Trinie Dalton