After a decade of crappy movies, M. Night Shyamalan is finally back with The Visit, which is not a complete home run, but a solid base hit. The movie, which is found footage, revolves around two kids who plan to visit their grandparents for a week, whom they have never seen since their mother has had a dispute with them years before. Their initial impression is warm and pleasant, but after a few days the kids realize that Grandma and Grandpa are a bit nutty and rapidly start to question their sanity…
The Visit was a movie that I was looking forward too since I am a fan of M. Night’s first 3 films. The Sixth Sense was a great horror suspense thriller that created one of the biggest twists ever in the history of cinema. Unbreakable and Signs are in my top 20 favorite movies of all time and they’re both very different but similar in tone. And then he made The Village, which was a bad film and had a terrible twist. And then Lady in the Water, which is also not so great but better. And then The Happening, which was one of the worst films ever made. However, there was some buzz going in The Visit and all I wanted was it to be decent.
And that’s exactly what it was. While the film is far from perfect, it is much, much better than M. Night’s previous films and has some pretty decent acting as well as chilling thrills to go along with it.
The two kids we’re actually great actors. Ed Oxenbould, was great as Tyler, who was very funny and added a lot of humor and heart to the film as well. He was great in this year’s Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and was a bright spot in The Visit as well. The rapping got on my nerves, and it wasn’t a very good idea, at all, but he wasn’t bad at it. It just didn’t really fit in with the rest of the movie. And sometimes, he would say something funny during the direst situation where the kid’s lives could be in danger and sometimes the tone would change from comedy to horror really quick and
Olivia Dejonge as Becca is also good although her character is unlikeable and kind of a hypocrite actually. She’s an inspiring movie director and wants to documents their week with their grandparents, which brings in the found footage element of this movie. I understand why Shyamalan did this since the movie cost 5 million to make but it didn’t need to be found footage. The storytelling didn’t need it to be found footage and I’m tired of the whole found footage gimmick.
The ending is by far the most suspenseful part of the movie and the climax is intense, real and actually horrifying. But it also doesn’t make sense when you really think about it, and I can’t go into it without spoiling it, so I’ll talk about it after the review in the spoiler section.
Also, the film wasn’t particularly scary. There was some creepy moments for sure once 9h30 p.m. hit and some disturbing moments as well, but never ultimately scary.
Overall, while it takes a while to take going and the found footage element could have been left out, The Visit is nevertheless a suspenseful, be it not very scary small budget film that has a good twist that I didn’t see coming and finally a decent return for director M. Night Shyamalan.
The twist. Here we go. It is revealed that the grandparent’s are not the kid’s actual grandparents and that they’re crazy people that murdered grandma and grandpa. Here’s why that doesn’t work: the kids never saw a picture of their grandparents before? And even worst yet, their mom simply puts them on a bus, and throws them off alone to people she had not seen in what, fifteen years? She is the worst mom ever and should not be taken care of kids. She should have dropped them off at least. It just doesn’t make sense and I wish that the movie had locked the plot a little better than it did. Nevertheless, like I already mentioned, even if the twist doesn’t work, it’s still the best aspect of the film and brings it to another level of suspense and horror I wasn’t expecting. It just doesn’t really work.