Earlier this week I went to see a movie with someone (weird right, I mean I usually go alone). We were 2 of 4 people in the entire cinema. Granted it was a 6PM show so our only fellow watchers were two lads on a man date.
The film was The Visit, the latest creep fest from director-in-decline M. Night Shyamalan. It starts out in a rather forgettable manner, with two children planning a visit to their grandparents, while their mom goes on what sounds like a much-needed holiday with her boyfriend. Boy are these kids in for an interesting week with the grandies.
Without giving away more than you can see in the trailer, it appears that grandma (Nana) is a little bit weird. I mean grandpa (Pop pop) is weird too, but Nana takes the damn cake. The film has already been criticised for the way in which it portrays old people in a negative light, perpetuating ideas about the fear of old people. Whatever your opinion on this, I’m sure once you’ve watched it that you’ll agree the performances by Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie as the grandparents are absolutely magnificent.
Stylistically, the film is well shot. It’s quite cheaply made, which is to be expected from a Blumhouse production – the same company that brought us Paranormal Activity and a bunch of other low budget movies. The Visit isn’t exactly a found footage film though; while it definitely follows much of the same standards, the premise is that the sister Becca (Olivia DeJonge) is an aspiring filmmaker working on a documentary about her family, focusing on the relationship between her grandparents and her mother.
This template includes the possibility of staged lighting, as well as more cinematic camera angles than a regular found footage film like REC or Paranormal Activity. Becca even assigns a secondary camera to her younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), meaning that we get multiple angles, making the experience a lot more kinetic.
The characters of the children are not more interesting than average teenagers, but having an older sister myself, I think the film does a great job of capturing the amount of fighting, protecting on another, and consoling that goes on in the average sibling relationship.
Overall, The Visit is a good film with some interesting twists and really convincing scares – and even a few laughs, mind you. It’s definitely worth your time, and a huge improvement for M. Night Shyamalan in comparison to his last few projects.
See it/ Don’t see it?: Definitely go and see it; it’s fun to watch in a dark cinema, and I’m sure it would be even more fun if there are more people around you.
Check out the trailer for The Visit below:
About the Author: Stephen is a film critic and aspiring filmmaker, currently working on his first film project, #BreatheEasy2016. Follow him on Twitter @thesnagel for more film rants and ramblings.