‘What Josiah Saw’ Ending Explained and Review

What Josiah Saw, an original production from Shudder is a high-concept drama that subverts conventional horror conventions in order to create an atmosphere of fragmented and ridiculous terror. The film will undoubtedly keep you on edge, whether it be due to the unpleasant environment or the almost neo-noir style.

The Graham family in What Josiah Saw consists of Josiah (the father), Miriam (the mother), Tommy (the youngest son), and May and Eli (twin son and daughter) Graham (son). It is general knowledge in Josiah’s town that the farmhouse he shares with his mentally ill son is haunted. Since his mother committed suicide by hanging herself from a willow tree on the family farm, Tommy has not been able to get his life back on track.

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What Josiah Saw‘ movie is broken into three sections, each of which tells its own tale but ultimately converges in the film’s climax. Let’s break it down piece by piece.

‘What Josiah Saw’ Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis?

The Ghost of Willow Road

In the first scene, Tommy and Josiah Graham are having a typical dinner, but they start out with a traditional pre-meal prayer in which Tommy prays for his mother and his siblings. It’s abundantly evident that Josiah is not a religious man. The following night, he is awakened by something horrific (which, of course, the audience isn’t privy to witness, and therefore the film’s title).

He then goes on to inform his son that his late wife visited him and that she “burns in hellfire,” and that they should “wash away their sins and make peace with God” due to this experience. After he’s finished dancing around the home, the elderly man informs Tommy that they have to make amends for a significant wrong in order to save the wife.

Eli and the Gypsies

We next go on to Eli, the second son, who resides with his family in an RV on the outskirts of town. He is wanted by the authorities due to his infamous history of sex with minors. But that’s not all: he still owes money to the local mafia, who are fed up with his lack of progress in paying them off. The town’s top thug offers him a peace treaty in exchange for helping him rob the gypsies that visit once a year.

Eli has no choice but to proceed with the project and interact with the gypsies. Along the way, he encounters Mama Luna, a destiny teller who foretells his impending demise. She also emphasizes that he is the reason his mother “burns.”

We are shown images from the past in an experimental montage. The gypsies quickly deduce that he is chasing the gold. Despite the odds, Eli wins the battle, frees a young girl (aged five) being kept hostage by gypsies, pays off the mobster, and returns to the RV to hear an offer on the family farm.

Mary May I

Towards the end, we meet Mary, the third child and a photographer who may or may not be a little schizophrenic (we get to know them a little later). In the first scene, she and her husband are introduced as potential adoptive parents. Reportedly, she has had sterility procedures and has a history of difficulties. She is obviously depressed and is attempting to save herself and her husband by having a kid, as seen by her preoccupation with sharp items (a metaphor for suicidal thoughts).

Her twin brother Eli is waiting for her when she returns home one day, he fills her in on the property sale and suggests she return to take care of things. The group then travels to the residence jointly, stopping briefly at a motel on the route. As the story builds to its climax, it becomes clear that the twins and their father do not appear together at any point. But in the very next scene, he confesses to Tommy that he is furious with the twins for committing a terrible crime.

Years ago, Mary’s mother apparently witnessed her and the father having sex together; when she learned that her daughter was pregnant, Miriam took her own life. That is the damage they must rectify.

Later, at the dinner table, the twins wonder who Tommy was talking to, and when he responds “Pa,” they are shocked beyond belief because their father passed away many years ago. Eureka! This is a true “sixth sense” moment. (But just for a little while)

Twins Story

Eli and May inform Tommy that the father molested May and was abusive to his sons. To put it simply, that’s how she conceived (and also how she got trauma for life). After the mother committed suicide by hanging herself, the three children promptly killed their dad.

In a typical case of “cheating the audience,” Tommy doesn’t believe it, and the father suddenly vanishes. Along with this, he is informed that his wife separated from him and took their son two years ago. To cut a long tale short, Eli and May unearth the skeleton of the baby they murdered (grave sin).

Tommy swings his ax and instantly kills Eli as he and the others close in on them (as predicted by Mama Luna). And then, after a seemingly hopeless struggle, in which their father plays little or no role, he takes the life of Mary May as well. As the father and son sat wearily in the living room after the climax, the willow tree in the yard ignites “holy fire” as a sign of sins being atoned for.

‘What Josiah Saw’ Review

The film’s fragmented storyline and ability to inspire terror without resorting to hackneyed, horrifying imagery were two of its more intriguing aspects. Although it fits well within the Hereditary subgenre, it suffered from a number of problems that detracted from the film’s overall effectiveness.

To begin with, there was a lack of a singular character storyline. Everything was happening right then and there, and the audience could only know what they were informed through the discourse (and not in a good way). In the case of Eli, the only lesson to be learned from his account is that he is nearing the end of his life. Mary May, too?

'What Josiah Saw' Movie Ending Explained
‘What Josiah Saw’ Movie Ending Explained

We all sensed that something was seriously wrong with her. But after that… Some more development of the characters would have been welcome. Also, the filmmakers never had two symbols appear on screen together, even in the final moments. Consequently, the viewer is left feeling betrayed and unsure of what to believe when the unexpected finale is presented.

While we’re on the topic, I’ll admit that I enjoy unexpected plot twists myself, but only if I’m already committed to the story. Audience members were left reeling after the film’s revelation in a state of lucid delusion. In addition, the finale is hurried since so much time is wasted on unnecessary storytelling and elaborate set pieces.

‘What Josiah Saw’ Movie Ending Explained

What do you think this story’s ending could mean? I’m going to spill the beans! There was a real Tommy and a real Josiah living in the farmhouse. Eli and May had made up a plot to make Tommy seem like an outcast and prevent themselves from being found out.

What Did Josiah See?

Not knowing what it is. What really happened between his two children could have been foretold in a dream, or he could have received a visit from his deceased wife with some sort of revelation. The film centers on his decision to behave in response to this information.

The film’s climax, in which the willow tree on the farm burns as a witness with the carvings, “Sins paid in full,” lends credence to this viewpoint, as does Mama Luna’s statement that Eli is to blame for his mother’s death by fire. On the way back home, Eli and Mary stop at a motel, and if that isn’t enough, there’s a scene of them having sex in the room. Stay tuned with us only on Lee Daily


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