The Visit (2015)
Due to a long family feud, Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) have never met their grandparents (Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie) on their mother’s side. Their mother (Kathryn Hahn) ran out on her parents 15+ years prior and hasn’t spoken to them since. When out of the blue, their grandparents ask for the 2 teenagers to come visit, Becca decides to document their whole trip on video. This is their horrifying tale.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs), The Visit is probably his last ditch effort to get back into good graces with the critics. If you aren’t aware, after his first 3 films, Shyamalan has made dud after dud for about a decade (The Happening, Lady in the Water, The Last Airbender). When I heard that another film was coming out by him, I was shocked that anyone would give him another chance, but here we are with The Visit. From the previews, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It could have potential because it is Shyamalan, but that also means it could fail big time. Based on critics, it is somewhere in the middle.
First thing I wanted to point out is the simplistic story. M. Night Shyamalan is known for detailed stories that involve plenty of attention, but the first hour of The Visit can be summed up in about 2 sentences. It is simple and not very eventful and the audience can sense that. Another thing I noticed about The Visit was the amount of comedy used. I thought this was suppose to be a tension-fill horror flick like Signs or The Village? The comedy takes away from the scares and made many of the scenes awkward and strange for me. I’m not sure if this is what Shyamalan was going for, but it takes away from the main idea big time.
About an hour into the movie, we have our big “Shyamalan reveal” like usual, and things start to get pretty interesting. The story comes to life and suddenly the tension and creepiness of the movie returns… for like 10 minutes! You would think after the twist is presented to us that something great would follow, but nope! We are presented with more of the same lame crap as before, but this time you will be yelling at the screen for these dumb teens to actually DO SOMETHING! I mean, let’s face it, this movie is made to scare teens, because if it had been me, a 33 year old grown man, in the same situation, I would have knocked the 2 old psychos on their asses and ran the hell out of the house. I guess only teens will find this scare because they what the main characters are… dumb!
I’m not sure who said The Visit was any good, because for the most part you are laughing awkwardly at the screen as semi-odd (not scary) things happen. It was rather boring, and even after the reveal at the end, I was still not impressed with the choices made. Even though this is not one I recommend, I do see a bright future for Ed Oxenbould.
5/10 Stars – Awkwardly funny, campy, and not funny. Even the M. Night Shyamalan twist can’t save this blah outing to Grandma’s house.