Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga, Jacob Kogan

"The story of a perfect boy who had a perfect plan"

Star Movies

If you go by the blurb of this film it would sound preposterous. Yes sure, if you call ostracizing his parents from his life, the perfect plan! He was far from perfect too. As stories of creepy kids go, this film was as creepy as it gets. That is why I didn't bother watching it at the cinemas, because I scare easily when I watch horror movies/psychological thrillers! But watching it on Star Movies (cable TV) wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. But have no doubt about it - Joshua is pure evil, a sociopath who drives his parents insane, a neglected child with feelings of inadequacy who likes hurting animals.

The film puts a lot of effort to portray how exactly and when precisely Joshua turned into a disturbed child with serial killer tendencies. The characters are well developed. Plausible acting performances from the cast contribute to the disturbing thriller factor. Special mention goes to Vera Farmiga as Abby, the mother who suffers postpartum depression. Her descent into a mental wreck as she suffers a total meltdown was very believable. And of course, Joshua who was portrayed by Jacob Kogan. His steely gaze can melt an iceberg. His quiet deceptive demeanor gave me chills. The setting has all the natural tones to depict a suspenseful thriller. Yet at the same time, there are several loopholes within the script which taint the natural flow of the film. For example, the father (Sam Rockwell) didn't use the video tape to prove just how mentally disturbed his son was. But then if he did the film won't have taken its due course.

If you ask me, I simply think that Joshua is a neglected child. He feels his parents don't love him as much as his newly born sister. With a father who works all day and a mother who is sinking into depression from the demands of caring for a newly born baby, I'm afraid he doesn't really have a very stable home environment to nurture. Bu to turn to violent means just to demand attention I reckon is a completely different ballgame. That in essence is what this film is all about - a kid who doesn't get enough love and support from the very people who brought him into this world would certainly not be exuding with love to give, himself!

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