HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Joshua Little Devil
Year: 2007
Director: George Ratliff
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga, Celia Weston, Dallas Roberts, Michael McKean, Jacob Kogan, Nancy Giles, Linda Larkin, Alex Draper, Stephanie Roth Haberle, Ezra Barnes, Jodie Markell, Rufus Collins, Haviland Morris, Tom Bloom, Antonia Stout
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Brad (Sam Rockwell) and his wife Abby (Vera Farmiga) Cairn have just welcomed their second child into the world, a baby girl they name Lily. But their first child, nine-year-old Joshua (Jacob Kogan), appears to have mixed feelings about the new arrival, only nobody around him is sharp enough to spot this. When he was a baby himself, he was a terrible cryer, which only exacerbated Abby's post-natal depression, so this time around the couple mean to keep those dark moods away. But Joshua might have something to say about that...

This quiet but menacing little horror movie was part of the line of evil kiddie movies reaching back to the grandaddy of them all, The Bad Seed in the fifties. While that is now regarded with more camp indulgence these days than terror, here writer and director George Ratliff opted for a set of chills made out to be as convincing as possible, although there were still moments of black comedy for those with a sense of humour that encompassed supposedly angelic tykes behaving badly. Joshua is our villain you see, and he uses the fact that nobody suspects him to his advantage.

You may not be fully aware of what the boy wanted until the final scene, but it was safe to say there were no real surprises in the gradual revelation of what he was up to. One one hand, the film seemed to be an awful warning about the kind of quiet child who prefers to read than play sport, on the other it was a psychological study of what tricks people play on their own minds when they cannot accept that someone is out to get them - after all, no reasonable person sets out to make others' lives a misery, do they? Ah, or do they? Ratliff capitalised on this unsettling question throughout, working up a neat atmosphere of threat.

This would come across as some terribly hokey thriller if it had not been for some excellent performances, and everyone here pitched their styles just right, especially Sam Rockwell who starts out the friendly, goodnatured husband genuinely concerned for his wife's welfare and ends up sounding like a lunatic to all but his child. Farmiga too, though in a role notably more frazzled from practically five minutes in, was strong in her rising panic and growing despair, a feeling which Ratliff slowly turned up the dial on until a happy ending is looking increasingly out of sight. Kogan was asked to do little but blankly recite his lines, but his inscrutability was undeniably creepy.

The other characters are mainly those who can be swayed by Joshua's machinations, as they cannot bring themselves to believe that what Brad comes to say is true. But this was not a catalogue of mounting hysteria, rather it was more subtle in its horrors, which might explain why the film did not find much of an audience who might be expecting the kind of outrageousness catered for in the likes of Orphan (which also starred Farmiga, obviously having a spot of bother with troublesome children). But if you could adjust to its unhurried pace, and tap into a tone of amusement resembling the grin of the skull beneath the skin, there was much to applaud here, and that final revelation of Joshua's reasons is so petty, so easy to accomplish without the dreadful consequences we have watched, that it's easy to consider it solely as a product of an immature mind. A little too muted for its own good, but a very decent effort nonetheless. Music by Nico Muhly.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3525 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: