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JOSHUA
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Reviewed by: Rees Savidis

Directed by: Travis Betz

Starring:
Ward Roberts
Christy Jackson
Aaron Gaffey

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Thirteen years after burying a terrible childhood secret, the lives of three friends collided with the horrifying realization that ‘Joshua’ is still alive.
Is it good movie?

What a great pitch this must have been. The central idea of 'Joshua' is something that would make any genre-bent filmmaker drool - including me! The concept of finding an abandoned baby in a stack of boxes, then raising the little bastard in a crumbling cabin in the woods as an unwitting, savage soldier-of-Satin is truly inspired. Unfortunately, for the makers of ‘Joshua’, there is still a better film to be made. Although, to simply dismiss the film we are given would do a terrible disservice to both the filmmakers and fans alike. The film has its moments – albeit fleeting and brief – and it does move at a fine clip.

My only wish was that ‘Joshua’ would have focused more on the idea at its core (the pitch) rather than convoluting itself with too much padding. It would seem to me that Writer / Director Travis Betz was pretty jazzed to be getting his film made, so much so, that he may not have looked at his material as objectively as he could have, and wound up with a film that felt, at times, to be a little misguided. On a more positive note, Betz did prove himself to be a fairly capable filmmaker with his obvious (bloody) inspirations firmly stitched on his sleeve. There were more that a few moments in ‘Joshua’ where I felt he was most certainly channeling ‘The Evil Dead’ by-way of David Lynch. Just in case anyone’s bothering to keep score – that’s a good thing.
Video / Audio
VIDEO: We get a pretty decent non-anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer that actually serves the film quite well with it’s slightly washed-out-look.

AUDIO: Earth shattering 2.0 Dolby Digital is the special-of-the-day here and it sounds fine.
The Extras
Not a hell-of-a-lot to report on here. We are given eleven production photos, eight deleted scenes and an alternate ending. One thing I found odd was the complete lack of filmmaker involvement in the extras. There is nary a commentary or featurette to be found on this platter. I would have liked to have heard what writer / director Travis Betz had to say. Meh, such is life.
Last Call
While the end result wasn’t entirely my cup-of-tea, the central idea of ‘Joshua’ was strong enough to keep me interested all-the-way through. Some nice Raimi inspired camera work, a moody, evocative score that (refreshingly) eschews heavy metal thrash guitar normally found in productions of this kind, as well as a healthy smattering of the red sauce really went a lomg way in sustaining this reviewer’s interest for ninety-six minutes.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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