Isla Fisher, presumably sporting a portrait in her attic having barely aged a day since Home and Away two decades ago, plays Evey, the survivor of an horrific car accident that took the life of the baby travelling in the other vehicle. One year on, Evey’s husband David is buying a Californian vineyard in an attempt to kick-start a new career, but once the couple – now expecting a baby of their own – move in, Evey begins having visions suggesting a violent history for the property. The trouble is, while previous owners of the estate have also reported supernatural episodes, Evey can’t find any evidence of an event that would have been responsible for initiating the haunting. Both David and Doctor Mathison (Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory) suspect the visions are all in her head...
Kevin Greutert’s film presents a series of clues that ultimately make sense of the resolution, but while the resolution is itself satisfying in an entirely predictable way, the clues are never really identified as such – so although the element of mystery in Visions is satisfactory, the unravelling of it is not. Greutert (a veteran of the Saw series) does a reasonable job with the film’s look and feel, this being very much a Hollywood horror in tone with a score by Anton Sanko that echoes Jerry Goldsmith echoing Bernard Herrmann, but the spartan running time does it no favours. There’s no opportunity to acquaint the viewer with the community, and almost all the characters who return for the climax make just a single appearance earlier on, never engendering the familiarity necessary to make the final sequences mean anything. A number of subplots and subtexts are introduced but there’s little development of any of them, such that the mystery itself becomes increasingly linear as the plot progresses.
Even Evey and David make for a surprisingly colourless couple, exhibiting little chemistry and even less charisma; guest actors such as Eva Longoria and Blade Runner’s Joanna Cassidy turn up and disappear again without making an impression, despite the latter’s too obviously deliberately eccentric role. Gillian Jacobs as Sadie, the friend Evey makes at pre-natal yoga, instantly steals every scene she’s in, outperforming almost everybody by the end of the film.
This is far from a disaster, and the haunting sequences themselves are mostly very effective if overly clichéd, but a little more care and attention could have produced something much more memorable.
VISIONS / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: KEVIN GREUTERT / SCREENPLAY: L.D. GOFFIGAN, LUCAS SUSSMAN / STARRING: ISLA FISHER, ANSON MOUNT, GILLIAN JACOBS, JOANNA CASSIDY / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 20TH