Joshua (2007) **
D: George Ratliff
C: Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga, Celia Weston, Dallas Roberts, Michael McKean, Jacob Kogan
P: A family slowly comes apart when they suspect that their seemingly well adjusted son might just be evil incarnate.
In one instance, Joshua is a well made, well acted film. From a professional standpoint, I respect what the filmmakers have been able to accomplish on a tight budget. On the other hand, Joshua suffers from one serious & fundamental flaw - the complete & utter miscasting of Jacob Kogan in the title role.
Here's the thing, in Joshua, the film is trying to spin this web as to whether Joshua is truly evil or if it's just that the family is coming apart at the seams. The problem with taking this approach is that the youngster that plays Joshua truly does look evil and conniving, which pretty much gives away the central mystery that the film is trying to spin. As for the ending, it never truly delivers a satisfying enough explanation to justify the events that have occurred earlier in the film.
If films were graded on production values alone, Joshua would get an A. However, what makes a film is the story and how it involves the audience. Unfortunately Joshua never quite works, because the overall scenario is never quite convincing and it's all too obvious and all too predictable as to how the film is going to play out. [R] 105 mins.
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