Creepy Evil Children

You don't have to be the son of Satan (a la Damien) to be adorably evil. Take Joshua. There's no devil blood in him, but this mortal nine-year-old may just be responsible for [BEGIN MILD SPOILERS] a series of animal deaths, attempted murders, and a brutal killing [END MILD SPOILERS]. Oh, and he may also know how to manipulate everyone around him into thinking that he's the victim. And when his pushover father, unhinged mother, and the rest of his family dote over his newborn sibling, Joshua literally throws up. Twice. What's not to love?

Joshua, now out on DVD, is a leisurely paced but impressively creepy horror movie that, for me, stirred up fond memories of The Good Son. That 1993 potboiler featured a post-Home Alone but still young Macaulay Culkin terrorizing a wide-eyed Elijah Wood. We know we're not in John Hughes territory anymore when Culkin stares at Wood and warns, "Don't fuck with me." It's perhaps one of the best line readings of the 90s, in a film written by none other than Ian McEwan—yes, that Ian McEwan.


  1. Err... don't go pretending you've read any Ian McEwan, we all know better. You think novels are just ill-formatted, as-yet-unproduced screenplays. :-)

  2. I'm not pretending anything. I refer to Ian McEwan, not as a highfalutin novelist, but as a screenwriter--of Atonement, The Cement Garden, The Good Son. That's where the real writing is, boy!