5.91 h 45 min2007X-RayR
The arrival of a newborn girl causes the disintegration of the Cairn family - especially that of 9-year-old Joshua, an eccentric boy whose proper upbringing takes a sinister turn.
George Ratliff
Sam RockwellVera FarmigaCelia Weston
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Dallas RobertsMichael McKeanJacob KoganAlex DraperNancy GilesLinda LarkinStephanie Roth HaberleStephanie Roth Haberle
Johnathan Dorfman
R (Restricted)
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3.9 out of 5 stars

442 global ratings

  1. 51% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 16% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

WillReviewed in the United States on July 27, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Worth it!
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This was a good movie. While there's nothing groundbreaking, this movie does what it sets out to do: tell an entertaining story. I found the pacing just right, the acting solid, and the suspenseful/creepy factor consistently high. This movie is a psychological thriller, so if you go into it with the expectation of a jump scare fiesta like people have come to associate with horror you'll come away disappointed. Actually, you'd dislike the vast majority of the movies I like and we probably shouldn't have a movie night together.

Actually, I was going to give this movie four stars but I'm going to give it five to combat the unnecessarily harsh reviews. For me, it kept me engrossed in the story, rooting for the protagonist, and left off on a decidedly creepy note. I'd like to see more movies of this caliber.
27 people found this helpful
sunflowerReviewed in the United States on June 3, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
One Of The Best Movies I've Ever Watched.
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This movie has been in my head ever since I watched it last night. It isn't a modern horror film with jump scares, it is more slow moving, psychological horror like The Omen, but purely psychological sociopathy rather than demons and devils. I found the boys portrayal of an emotionless empty hearted sociopath learning how to behave and mimic others to fit in, vs his tendency to not fit in at all due to his superior IQ plus lack of emotions, extremely interesting to watch.
The actor and director did an amazing job of having him stay true to character throughout the film. There were these blank looks of observation and you could tell the boy was interested in doing these things out of curiosity fro either how the object of his actions would react, or maybe to see how he himself would react. I think he knew that he was different in that he didn't have any feelings for anyone or anything and so kept testing himself to see how he would react to causing pain and suffering in others.
It seemed like he was basically fine and wasn't doing those sorts of things at all for his entire 9 years until his baby sister was born. Things were good so he had no real need to test anyone or test himself and he was in this prolonged learning/waiting period until something threatened his security and then he very quickly began this almost rapid fire succession of events of hurting animals, the baby, then his mother. Learned very quickly how to manipulate adults the moment he saw his father had figured out he was abnormal, in order to sabotage him so he wouldn't be believed if he were to tell anyone the boy was a psycopath. When he killed his grandmother and we see the father hear the disturbance and then look up, his son was staring right at him. Less interested in watching the result of his action (his grandmothers death) than seeing the reaction of his father.
From the moment the father cried over the dog and then recognised the boys almost mocking seeming mimicking of him as learning how to "act" sad, it was like watching a very fast paced chess game where both sides were trying to knock the other off the board as fast as possible. With a lot of movies of this kind, there is usually a period of disbelief from the parent, even when the child is doing obviously evil things. Or at the very least moments of weakness where they revert to treating the kid like a normal kid and that's when the evil child gains the upper hand and does something awful when they are off guard. This movie is different and it impressed me in that Sam Rockwells character immediately went into full defense of the rest of his family mode and knew he had to send the evil boy Joshua away someplace where he couldn't harm them anymore. His only mistake was letting the boy know he knew what he was. He would have succeeded if he had played it normal and just sent the boy off before he realised what was happening.
Instead we see the boy fake crying to gain the fathers sympathy. We can tell he at this point the father isnt feeling it but is now trying to pretend he is in order to keep the situation that night from escalating and putting himself and the baby in danger, since it was obvious the kid had bruised his own back up in order to set his father up for child abuse. So the only moment of weakness in Rockwells character was when he fell asleep. and that's exactly what the boy was waiting for. From then into the last scene it was a tense standoff where the kid was basically holding his father hostage, wanting him to take him to the park and appear normal and if he didnt do that then he would start screaming abuse again. Meanwhile we see the fathers gears turning behind his eyes as he tries to figure out his best next move and how to get through the day and the time between now and when he could somehow trick the kid into getting sent off to that boarding school. It was just unfortunate the way that park scene unfolded. It was hard to watch.
A couple of things to mull over for those of you who have watched the film and are reading this.....The ending scene with the pianist uncle. The boy is singing a song, and revealing himself for who he is. He is also singing you always knew me the most etc. Knew my every note. We also saw an earlier scene at the recital where the uncle recognised the disharmonious music as musically correct and brilliant but in a dark way. And the uncle kept saying to his sister and Rockwells character things along the lines of how hes had to adapt to all of the mental issues in their family. Had to learn, He knows more than anyone etc. We are all being led to believe thats in response to Vera Farmigas characters post partum psychosis. But what if the unspoken parts of the movie are that their parents were psychotic or sociopathic? And one further what if the brother pianist himself is a high functioning sociopath who learned to mimic normal outgoing behavior and has no need to act out in negative ways because his life is going well for him at the time we see part of it through the eyes of the camera lens? That last song scene where they both look at each other after the boy says he always wanted to be with him could have been the uncle suddenly realising the kid was a sociopath just like himself?
I've also pondered whether Rockwell could have been a sociopath who had learned to hide it behind a wall of friendliness. I say that because he immediately picked up on his sons mental games the moment he showed them by mimicking him crying over the dog. And he showed no sympathy or love from that point on. I think it's possible he could have been someone who had crafted this good life for himself and buried the though of doing anything wrong or bad that would ruin his success. But as soon as he saw his son was a psycho too but now spinning out of control and about to destroy the entire family he recognised how fast and ruthless he was likely to be about it cause he too had that inside him, particularly when he was young?
I may be reading too much into those two characters but I get the feeling the writers and director maybe wanted us to wonder about things like that after watching this film. I thought it was great. One of the best psychological thrillers and evil child movies I've ever seen. Yes it moves slowly, and again it isn't going to make anyone jump. But if it makes you walk away from it questioning everyone you know and wondering if they are really who they appear to be then I think it did it's job. I am thoroughly unnerved by humans right now thanks to this movie.
13 people found this helpful
Deanna NaceReviewed in the United States on July 16, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Predictable, nothing spectacular, unrealistic.
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Man, I kept waiting for something to bring the movie up out of its mundane, slow, & predictable pace but it never happened. The parents, school, workplace, boss, & community came across as plastic, dull, & unrealistic. What parents buy nothing but slacks, dress shirts, ties & sportcoats for their nine year old to wear every single day even to the park? And his hair is short, parted on the side, always gelled & meticulously combed? I get the movie is telling us Joshua is different but it's too abnormal. He didn't play & had no friends. I immediately wondered why Joshua wasn't already in counseling. No one had any common sense. Not scary. Instead tension: mom dropped & broke her glass, is barefoot, & you're waiting for her to step on it which of course she does. Or small kid standing on the curb of very busy street trying to cross alone or baby buggy on the edge of top step of a steep stairway.
3 people found this helpful
Todd M.Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
There’s not much new in this one.
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It’s an OK physiological thriller but it just reminded too much of a sifter version of The Omen and the kid just wasn’t the best choice to convey what the movie seemed to want to convey. If he were cuter and more warm then what he did would seem more horrific but there wasn’t even any chemistry between him and his parents. It could have gone the other way and he could have been more like Chuckie and demon-like but it just landed in the middle as someone that didn’t overtly do much of anything and he was just an annoyance who seemed to be jealous of his new sister. I’m not sure who the monsters were in this one… the kid or his parents.
Richard M. RimmerReviewed in the United States on November 3, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
One of the worst movies watched
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I thought I've forgotten I saw this before. The reason why I remembered is the ending. We don't know why the son is what he is, nice but evil. The mother suffers from post partum depression, the husband takes on the duties befitting a wife. We don't know what happened to her, really. The boy finds another somebody who sort of looks like John Ritter. That was that. It wasn't a good movie. I remember it, three times. Once in pre-production (in a parallel realm), another in watching the movie in its final form, and more recently, the last time. It's a lousey movie. D-
2 people found this helpful
ttReviewed in the United States on January 27, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Couldn't take it....
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This movie was so bad I had to write a review. I could not bring myself to finish it. Yes, the son is creepy and I definitely caught on early that he was tampering with his little sister causing her to cry but the mom is another story by herself. Her behavior was erratic and very juvenile to be a mother of 2. The first baby nearly drive you mad and you're clearly not equipped to cope in difficult situations but then you have another and then proceed to act younger than them both combined? No thanks. Bless the dad's fault though.
4 people found this helpful
Grr white wolfReviewed in the United States on February 15, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
It seemed good.........
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Well it seemed good for about 20 minutes into the movie. I thought it was supposed to be horror. But instead it was just 20 minutes of hearing a baby cry. At least lower his cries! It's the loudest part of the movie! Unless you miss hearing a baby cry, this is a perfect movie for it. Seems all the good stuff in horror movies nowadays happens 10 minutes before they end. I couldn't get past the 26 minute mark of this movie.
One person found this helpful
TomHunter1968Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
Easily one of the screepiest "bad seed" child-horror movies ever made.
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**NO SPOILERS** Easily one of the screepiest "bad seed" child-horror movies ever made. This film presses you on all fronts as far as amazing acting (espcially Sam Rockwell), a very compelling religious angle, and a truly evil and highly intelligent child - most specifically in the child's manipulation of virtually every adult he comes across, to serve his own nefarious, pyschotic ends. This one not only, for me, ranks among the top 3 "bad seed" movies, but is definitely in my top 25 horror movies of all time. It seems to be one that has largely been missed by the more casual horror audience, but fans of the genre who haven't seen it will definitely be doing themselves a favor by renting this one.
11 people found this helpful
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