THE VISIT

PrintE-mail Written by Iain McNally

After the back-to-back disappointments of After Earth and The Last Airbender, both commercially and critically, M. Night Shyamalan returns to his roots writing and directing this small scale horror film that thankfully doesn't include him in the cast list.

Seeing an opportunity to give their mother some much needed "me time" with her new boyfriend and for them to learn a bit about their family, teenagers Becca (Olivia Dejonge) and Tyler(Ed Oxenbould) go and stay with their estranged grandparents for a week, grandparents who their mother (Kathryn Hahn) hasn't spoken to in 19 years. Of course, budding documentarian/documentary filmmaker Becca brings along enough cameras to record this momentous occasion, whilst Tyler unfortunately brings his rap "skills".

At first "Nana"(Deanna Dunagan) and "Pop-Pop" (Peter McRobbie) seem straight out of a Frank Kapra movie; Nana constantly baking sweet things while Pop-Pop takes care of the land. It's not long, though, before Becca and Tyler start noticing that something's not quite right around the isolated farmhouse and start asking some questions. What are those strange noises in the house at night? What's hidden in the shed at the end of the yard? What's down in the basement that Tyler and Becca are not supposed to go in?

While most horror aficionados may guess what's going on before the rest of the audience, Shyamalan deftly plays tug-of-war with the audience's expectations. Setting up strange behaviour by the grandparents that appear to have perfectly reasonable explanations when examined in the cold light of day and their advancing age. Overreactions to Becca's invasive interview techniques seem a lot less out of the ordinary when Becca herself doesn't react to well under similar, in-camera, questioning from her brother.

It may not be clear from the marketing but the whole film, with some very minor exceptions, is shown only through the lenses of Becca's two cameras, but The Visit manages to avoid feeling like "just another found footage movie". There are plenty of effective scares throughout, but the audience, like Becca and Tyler, are kept guessing as to their nature; are they supernatural in origin, is there a medical explanation or could there be something else going on?

Once the threat is finally revealed, some of the suspense is lost, but this doesn't quite take away from what has gone before. The blow is also softened considerably by the wicked sense of humour that runs throughout, although many may groan at Tyler's thankfully infrequent rapping.

The Visit is by no means a perfect horror film, but it does show that Shyamalan can still tell a scary story and tell it well. Hopefully he continues to do so and avoids the nonsensical twists and bloat that plagued his work after his initial success.

THE VISIT / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN / STARRING: OLIVIA DEJONGE, ED OXENBOULD, DEANNA DUNAGAN, PETER MCROBBIE, KATHRYN HAHN / RELEASE DATE: OUT

Expected Rating: 4 out of 10

Actual Rating:
 

Suggested Articles:
With another summer season of superheroes and rampaging robots just around the corner, here’s a ve
No other animated Disney movie has captured audiences’ imaginations quite like Beauty and the Beas
Ben Wheatley follows up his J. G. Ballard adaptation of High Rise with an original project, Free Fir
It’s a not-so-distant future and a remote nuclear facility has gone offline. This new kind of nucl
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Movie Reviews

LIFE 25 March 2017

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 22 March 2017

FREE FIRE 20 March 2017

ATOMICA 14 March 2017

THE EYES OF MY MOTHER 13 March 2017

A SILENT VOICE 13 March 2017

KONG: SKULL ISLAND 04 March 2017

SEARCH/DESTROY – A STRONTIUM DOG FAN FILM 03 March 2017

GET OUT 02 March 2017

BLOOD OF THE TRIBADES 02 March 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner