What Josiah Noticed Overview
PLOT: Darkish, long-buried secrets and techniques are introduced again to the floor when the deeply troubled Graham household is reunited.
REVIEW: Directed by Vincent Grashaw, What Josiah Noticed is an enchanting movie. Though it offers with very darkish subject material and is populated with some terrible individuals, you would possibly discover you can’t tear your eyes away from it. Not even when it erupts into violence or exhibits you horrible stuff you’d reasonably not have seen. That’s as a result of Grashaw introduced the story crafted by first-time screenwriter Robert Alan Dilts to the display screen with an unsettling environment that envelops you whilst you’re watching the film, and assembled an unimaginable solid to deliver Dilts’ deeply troubled characters to life.
On the middle of the story is the Graham farm out on Willow Highway, a spot that has a foul historical past going again a long time. It was dwelling to the Josiah of the title, a depressing and abusive alcoholic performed by Robert Patrick, his spouse Miriam, and their three youngsters: Eli, Mary, and Tommy. At some point, Miriam skipped church and was discovered hanging from the oak tree that stands in entrance of the home. Locals say that her ghost will be seen wandering the property at night time. That will or is probably not true, however what we shortly discover out for sure is that Josiah remains to be a scumbag a long time after his spouse’s loss of life. In current day, he and the simple-minded Tommy (Scott Haze) are the one Graham relations nonetheless dwelling within the outdated farmhouse… and the life they’ve collectively will not be nice.
What Josiah Noticed is separated into chapters, each including completely different Grahams into the story. The movie begins with Josiah and Tommy, and for the primary thirty minutes it’s virtually only a two-man present with Patrick and Haze doing unimaginable work of their roles as we watch these unusual, lonely guys bounce off one another. Now, the very first thing we hear Josiah say he noticed is a six-inch-tall leprechaun standing out within the area, crapping a rainbow. However that’s, sadly, not the sight talked about within the title. What Josiah Noticed truly references a imaginative and prescient he’s struck by one night time: a imaginative and prescient that informs him his long-lost spouse is burning in Hell, and can proceed to take action till he and Tommy straighten out their methods and proper an important incorrect. Earlier than we get info on what precisely Josiah thinks they should repair, we transfer on to the following chapter, the place we meet Eli.
Eli’s chapter will get probably the most display screen time, and goes off on such a tangent – one involving a kidnapped baby, a touring carnival, and cursed gold – that it virtually makes the film begin to really feel like an anthology. However this twisted solo journey we comply with Eli on is so attention-grabbing, it doesn’t really feel irritating to be so far-off from the primary story on the Graham farm. Eli is performed by Nick Stahl, an actor who had a shot on the large time however then noticed his profession collapse because of habit points. Now Stahl is sober and making a comeback – and his real-life again story made him the right option to play Eli, a paroled convict coping with substance abuse points very similar to those Stahl endured. Stahl has had tough instances, and Eli remains to be neck-deep in his tough instances.
Then it’s time to satisfy Mary (Kelli Garner), who’s going via the method of adopting a toddler together with her husband Ross (Tony Hale). However Mary’s suburban life isn’t as image excellent as she wish to make it seem. It’s clear that her psychological well being points are rooted in one thing that occurred again on the farm she and her siblings grew up at… and there was extra happening there than the devastating lack of Miriam. The sins of the previous begin to change into clearer to the viewer as soon as Eli exhibits up at Mary’s home. The entire siblings have been despatched letters from an oil firm that’s curious about shopping for the Graham property on Willow Highway. They usually’re all going to must get collectively on the outdated farmhouse to debate this provide. After all, issues don’t go nicely when the Grahams are reunited. That is a type of motion pictures the place you already know from the beginning that we’re heading towards catastrophe. We’re simply hanging on to see precisely how dangerous and gut-wrenching it’s going to get.
What Josiah Noticed has its share of points. With a two hour working time, it appears like Grashaw and Dilts have been being a bit too self-indulgent at instances. It positively may have been trimmed down just a little bit. It additionally doles out info in such a means that you just may not have all of the info clear by the point the tip credit begin rolling. However even when the ending isn’t completely satisfying, and even when the film takes longer getting there than it wanted to, the general story is so intriguing (and troubling) and the performances are so robust, the movie nonetheless holds up as an important achievement for everybody concerned. Dilts has gotten his screenwriting profession off to a terrific begin, and we’re virtually sure to see extra notable works from Grashaw sooner or later.
I used to be disturbed by plenty of issues on this darkish drama / psychological horror story, however I used to be additionally actually impressed by What Josiah Noticed. This one is certainly price trying out – and I will likely be watching it once more.
What Josiah Noticed is being launched via the Shudder streaming service on August 4th.