According to Hollywood it seems the backwoods of middle America are a hot bed of all grim stories where everyone seems to be someone’s brother or sister and horrific episodes unfold with characters barely able to clasp their hands across their eyes peeping through the gaps or least they would if they weren’t webbed. ‘What Josiah Saw’ uses this as a backdrop for its story, or three stories to be exact, in what is an anthology film that comes together in a needle drop climactic scene.
Robert Patrick plays Josiah the brutal and now widowed patriarch of a family with three grown up children Tom (Scott Haze), Eli (Nick Stahl) and Mary (Kelli Garner). His wife, their mother, a God fearing church going woman it turns out killed herself and the company who want to buy up the land are warned that they won’t want to own it as, according to locals, it is believed to be haunted by her ghost but that’s only the start of it
Split into three chapters the first, The Ghost of Willow Hill, sees Scott living with his overbearing father Josiah who has a scary vison one night and determines to exorcise the demonic secrets of the family. But it’s the second story that is more rounded and satisfying. Titled ‘Eli and the Gypsies’ it sees Eli (an always good Nick Stahl) as a ne’er do well in debt to a local villain and told that his days are numbered unless he helps out a couple of other thugs to steal a bunch of gold from a family of gypsies who run a fairground. They’re the type that where the real fright on the ghost train is when they won’t let you get off unless you let them tarmac your drive. And finally the last chapter sees Mary, clearly a troubled woman, trying to adopt a child within the strained relationship of her own marriage. But the three reunite at the end of the film where the unsettling becomes downright disturbing in an explosive revelatory scene
In a certain way What Josiah Saw is similar to last years The Dark and the Wicked (read our review HERE) with its story of a family pulled back together by long festering secrets that build to a horrifying conclusion. Directed by Vincent Grashaw this is a slow burn of film, a little too slow, set in the dusk and dark of the town and there’s an ominous air to the whole proceedings. Audiences expecting out and out visceral horror will not find it here instead What Josiah Saw has is a grimy and atmospheric air of something deeply amiss with the family that can only end badly.
We spoke to Nick Stahl about his role in the film m as well as the Terminator film he starred in…….
Here’s the trailer for What Josiah Saw…….