I know this post has been long overdue, guys. So sorry! I first saw The Visit on Sept. 1st at a free screening. (Aren’t those fun?!) I whipped up the review for ScreenRelish and forgot to post it onto here. So here’s my take on the film: As I took my seat for the screening of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit, I didn’t know how to welcome this film. As with most Shyamalan hits, it’s hard to guess what you’re going to get, what’ll happen next or what you are even getting into. When I think of Shyamalan, I remember back to a Robot Chicken sketch which poked fun at his niche for plot twists. Particularly in the closing stages of his work. His sneaky curve balls are – or rather were – often crazy, sometimes clever and always ingenious, and for The Visit he’s got something up his sleeve with his new comic-horror. Yes, you read that right. The Visit is a comedic fright flick that comes across as really quite enjoyable!
In The Visit, Shyamalan relies moderately on jump scares and comic relief to engage us. The story and plot go steady only then things suddenly get weird. Two young kids, Rebecca and Tyler, are sent to meet their grandparents for the first time and spend a pleasant week with them. Unfortunately, the week goes from pleasant to strange real quick. You do not peek out after 9:30 pm, unless you want to see your grandmother running around and scratching walls. Her cooking isn’t going to cover up this crazy mess that hides.
Rebecca is an aspiring filmmaker and is determined to make a documentary of the joyful visit to Nana and Pop Pop’s house. As she digs further into their lives, she and her brother begin to suspect that “old people sickness” isn’t what’s going on with Nana. And why is Pop Pop constantly going out to the shed? A murky truth circles around as the kids try to grasp the situation. Despite his recent failures, Shyamalan is a very good storyteller, and thankfully his new effort does pay off.
As a thriller it doesn’t pack too much suspense in, and instead follows a pattern of frightful jumps and odd behavior between the grandparents. So this is not a film that will haunt your thoughts. It’s perfectly passable as a quick thrill, and the comic relief throughout the film at least gives the movie a fun little edge. The fact that one minute we are startled and the next, we are laughing hysterically, means Shyamalan has at least surprised us after years of intensity. Having said that, Shyamalan pushes for a disgusted reaction from the audience as there are some truly vile moments. At times it really is gross! We love The Sixth Sense and Signs director for sticking to his guns and here he manages to come back with a decent film. What revelations you see in the film will be the promising part of it all. You sure got us, M.Night.