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Parents' Guide to

What Josiah Saw

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Disturbing horror movie has incest, sexual abuse, violence.

Movie NR 2022 120 minutes
What Josiah Saw Movie Poster

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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This is a difficult and disturbing horror of the Southern gothic school. While ultimately a rewarding viewing in the way that the confusion one feels initially is made clear by the end, What Josiah Saw is a torturous journey in many ways. The story is told in three vignettes centered on the three adult children of a family from a farmhouse in rural Texas whose dysfunction is so complete, it makes the stories of Faulkner or Flannery O'Connor seem like sappy '80s sitcoms. At its best, it's an original and deeply unsettling horror movie, but at its worst, it's marred by clichés of horror movies, the South, and certain ethnicities.

It's a good but not great movie that seems like it has a shot at attaining cult status, as it's likely to reward repeated viewings (assuming one would want to do such a thing, considering what transpires in some of the more shocking scenes). It's a story of trying to break from the traumas of the past, and how difficult that is no matter how hard these characters try (and they do try). However, the movie is damaged by too-long scenes involving traveling Romani who are portrayed stereotypically. It's maddeningly close to being a great movie, but these forays into the Tarantino-esque (particularly with the second vignette) make the whole thing feel less inspired than the rest of it.

Movie Details

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