Wednesday, August 3, 2022

What Josiah Saw (2022)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: What Josiah Saw (2022)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 2h
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Randomix Productions, Shudder
Director: Vincent Grashaw
Writer: Robert Alan Dilts
Actors: Robert Patrick, Nick Stahl Scott Haze, Kelli Garner, Tony Hale, Jake Weber, Ronnie Gene Blevins
Blurb from IMDb: A family with buried secrets reunite at a farmhouse after two decades to pay for their past sins.

Selina’s Point of View:
There’s a lot of hype around What Josiah Saw. Critics are giving it heaps of praise – all based around how ‘haunting’ it is. I’ve even seen some describe it as ‘subtle’.
It made me wonder if I watched the correct movie.
What I saw was a melodramatic horror based purely on shock value, with absolutely no subtlety. The story was a regurgitated mess. The big twist was practically highlighted in the first 10-minutes. The rest of the film tried so hard to be edgy, that it felt like there was no substance.

I was either disturbed or bored for the majority of What Josiah Saw. There were a few decent moments in the middle, then it just went back to being obnoxious.
I will admit that the actors did a lot with what they had. There were also some beautiful shots near the end.
That said, I will not remember anything about this flick tomorrow. By the time we write out the end of year articles, I’ll forget What Josiah Saw ever existed.
If you want to see for yourself, What Josiah Saw comes out on Shudder August 4.

Cat’s Point of View:
It almost feels like calling What Josiah Saw a slow burn would be an understatement. Not everyone would enjoy the snail’s pace that this film crawled at. It stretched out the uncomfortable moments to a degree that I found myself checking the runtime progress more than once.
The usage of building up ominous tension is a tried-and-true horror story tool. When used in moderation, it sets up the shock and terror of the pay-off to great effect. Here, with What Josiah Saw, the story was a bit on the heavy-handed side with the build-up so that the ending felt almost abrupt in how everything was brought together.
At the same time, the narrative was effective in causing me to second-guess myself and the conclusions I drew from assembling these puzzle pieces.

One thing’s for sure – What Josiah Saw had an amazing cast that sold this disturbed family’s sordid tale well. I recognized many actors sprinkled throughout this production, but the primary characters, played by Robert Patrick (Scorpion, The Laundromat, Honest Thief), Scott Haze (The Vault, Venom, Antlers), Nick Stahl (Dead Awake, Hunter Hunter, Fear the Walking Dead: Dead in the Water), and Kelli Garner (The Lie, Horns, The Enemy Within) seared the screen with their performances.
I think that What Josiah Saw is going to linger and haunt me for a while. The uncomfortable squirmy feeling I had while watching has clung to me ever since the final credits rolled. It’s as if I need a shower to wash it off me. That speaks highly of the horror aspect of this movie. It was effective in that sense, and I have great respect for that. It was not, however, a story that I would call ‘entertaining.’
What Josiah Saw wouldn’t be a film to watch if you’re needing escapism or to turn off your brain and just enjoy something. It was heavy and poked at levels of curiosity while engaging the audience with dialogue that felt somewhat incongruent with the scenes it belonged to. I wouldn’t mind steering anyone to the movie if they’re a fan of cerebral horror. One of the best things about Shudder, however, is that there are many titles to choose from – so that if this one doesn’t fit your mood, there’s definitely a title available that will.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.9/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 1.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 3/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

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