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Film / Joshua

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Joshua is a 2007 American psychological horror/thriller film about an affluent young Manhattan family and how they are torn apart by the increasingly sadistic behavior of their disturbed son, Joshua. The film was directed by George Ratliff and stars Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga and Jacob Kogan. It was released on July 6, 2007 in the United States.

Joshua contains examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Uncle Ned, there's no mention of his sexuality but he has the stereotypical mannerisms.
    • Some see Joshua as being this, even though he's only nine years old.
  • Attention Whore: Joshua. Wanting to be a baby again so you can get all of your parent's attention, faking an illness at a concert and pretending to faint while onstage in front of several people.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Apparently but not definitely as it ends without a resolution. Joshua does get his parents in jail and in an asylum and gets adopted by his uncle but the film ends with Ned realising what his nephew did, which leaves the possibility open that he will prove to the authorities who the monster is.
  • Children Are Innocent: No, they're not!
    • One of the taglines is even: 'Not all children are innocent'.
  • Creepy Child: Joshua. Even as a first impression his mannerisms are a bit off. He is cold, stoic and obviously manipulative and any emotional displays seem often unnatural and robotic. His fascination with death doesn't help at all. His real personality and murderous acts do this impression justice and show how completely devoid of any compassion he really is.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The kid throws his grandmother down the stairs in a public place in broad daylight. Witnesses...
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Heavily implied to be the motive behind Joshua's behavior early in the film. Everytime his family gives attention to his baby sister, he acts out. When his deeply religious aunt takes him to church for the first time and the Christians mention being born again, he takes it to mean a literal birth and states that he wants to be born again. (Presumably to gain the attention of his parents.)
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  • "I Am Becoming" Song: At the end Joshua and his uncle Write a song at the piano to celebrate becoming a family. The lyrics imply that Joshua is starting to be happy feels that his parents got their just desserts and will never be loved again. The movie ends with Joshua's Uncle giving him a horrified stare. (Presumably having realized that it was all part of Joshua's plan.)
  • Kick the Dog: Ambiguous; the dog is found dead. An unambiguous example is him embalming his pet hamster and also offering a beggar money in exchange for letting him throw a stone at him.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Joshua of course, though the only other child that suffers from it is his baby sister and his cruelty is much more devious and refined than mere bullying.
  • Lack of Empathy: Joshua lacks empathy to a disturbing extent, be it defenseless animals, babies, or his own parents and grandmother they are nothing more to him than pieces of meat to use and dispose of to his heart's content.
  • The Plan: All of Joshua's actions are to have him sent to live with his uncle.
  • The Sociopath: Joshua is textbook case. He has no pity, no shame, no gratitude, no remorse and no love for anyone no matter how kindly they treat him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Joshua throwing up at the start suggests the 'peeing on the rug' scene from The Exorcist.
    • The inter-titles showing the span of time (each marked by a piano chord) suggest the passing of the days in The Shining.
  • Voodoo Shark: A fair few of the hints the film gives to explain things just raise further questions.


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