The Visit

The Visit


Written by Mike Wells Jr

In the Mix
Director: M. Night Shyamalan, Producer: Jason Blum, Cast: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan

The Ten Word Skinny
“Grandma’s rules: Don’t ever leave your room after 9:30 pm”

The Quote
“I'm gonna get you!”

The Beef
M. Night Shyamalan or “Mizzle Nizzle Shizzle" as I like to refer to him has had somewhat of a hit and miss career to date. He made his name known to the world with the classic, The Sixth Sense which to this day, still has millions of people quoting the famous line… “I see dead people” every time it gets so cold you can see your breath. From there, he’s followed with a mix of opinion splitting films, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village but to mention a few (nobody say After Earth!).
In The Visit, Shyamalan showcases his writing and directing talent in keeping an element of suspense throughout the film right up to the last 20 minutes where it all becomes clear. The film doesn’t lose any pace however and continues to hold you at the edge of your seat. Jason Blum in the producer's seat is a stroke of genius as he brings his experience from the Paranormal Activity series to help amplify the suspense and terror just when you think you can sigh a breath of relief.

The Story in Short
It starts with Brother and Sister duo Becca and Tyler (DeJonge & Oxenbould) being sent off to see their grandparents in a remote Pennsylvania farm. They’ve never met due to a family argument between their mother (Loretta) and her parents having a long-standing disagreement, so they are sent packing on the train alone while the mother goes on a Royal Caribbean cruise with her new lover. They don’t know what to expect, but speculate “They could think boy-bands are cute”?!
Becca is a budding documentary maker and this allows the film to be told through more than one lens as she interviews her brother and grandparents throughout, even catching moments by leaving the camera running in hidden places to see things she shouldn’t!
The kids spend a few days getting to know their their elderly hosts and acclimatise to their new surroundings and soon enough things aren’t quite what they seem. They soon realise this may not be the average trip to see the extended family and gradually discover their grandparents are definitely not into One Direction.

Interesting casting of Kathryn Hahn as the children's mother, which still feels a little strange as she doesn’t at all feel the motherly type. I suppose that’s why she buggered off on a cruise sending the kids to their grandparents, but I just can’t get the image of her dry humping John C. Reilly against the garage wall in Step Brothers out of my head.

Popcorn or Pie
For me, this is Shyamalan doing what he does best. The film is enjoyable to the end and it passed the boredom test of me, not once, picking up my phone to browse Facebook throughout the entire 94 minutes.

It’s a thoroughly enjoyable scare-fest that doesn’t push the limits of improbability. There is a clever use of “found footage” camera shots through Becca’s handi-cam and a particular game of hide and seek which will stay with you for a while. As with Sixth sense, once you know the twist, I doubt you’ll be racing to watch it for a second time, but for a enjoyable hour and a half, this ticks the boxes for me.

Say What?
Supposedly Shyamalan created three cuts of the movie, a funny version, a horror version and a version somewhere in-between.

Let me know and comment below.

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