WHAT JOSIAH SAW
Starring: Robert Patrick, Nick Stahl, Scott Haze, Kelli Garner, Jake Weber, and Tony Hale
Director: Vincent Grashaw
Based on the performances and atmosphere alone, What Josiah Saw is decent southern gothic horror. It’s probably even better if you know what to expect going in (which I did not). Namely, that the story structure is practically an anthology. If you don’t know that from the start, everything feels random and unconnected. The first act, which plays like Frailty, gives way to a second act that is reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, which gives way to a third act that’s kinda sorta like American Beauty. It’s very jarring. That said, everything eventually ties together in a mostly satisfying way that is brutal, tense, and deviant.
What Josiah Saw has all the moodiness and talent to deliver an engrossing story about familial secrets and horrors of the past, but this southern gothic tale failed to deliver on nearly every aspect, especially with regards to the story. Every time I thought the film was going somewhere, I was mistaken, and whatever point the film was trying to make did not register with me at all. Despite a promising premise, a halfway decent finale, and some beautiful cinematography, the final scene only cemented my distaste for this film that barely managed to keep me interested.