These day and age, the name M. Night Shyamalan just doesn’t hold much water anymore. Unlike the early thrillers with a compelling narration and fun twist, recent Shyamalan films are stale and sometime unwatchable; the studios even stop promoting the director’s name is trailers- I’m looking at you, After Earth. However, this is not the case with The Visit. While the film might not reach the early days standard, it’s a pretty good film with genuine frights mixes wonderfully with funny moments.
The film stars Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould as young siblings Rebecca and Tyler Jamison. The two are traveling to rural Pennsylvania to visit their estranged grandparents for the very time. An aspiring filmmaker, Rebecca decides to document the whole thing for their mother, played by Kathryn Hahn. The visit starts off present, as both grandparents appear to be nice. However, things take a strange turn quickly, when the kids are told to stay in their room by 9:30 pm, and strange noises can be heard on the other side of the door.
The film can be truly frighten from time to time, as the found-footage approach allows us to see the events unfold completely through the kids’ eyes. It adds a layer to the story and easily allows us to identify what kind of kids these are. Also, the viewers are slowly finding out what the grandparents’ deal is with the kids too. A scary concept that have us on the edge of our seats the whole time.
The scares in the film can be terrifying, but they are also very silly at the same time. This is what makes the film fun! Seeing the grandma crawling to you under the house is like a huge WTF situation, you will scream when it happens, but laugh when it’s over. After all these time, it’s good to know that Shyamalan can have fun with his film and have us laughing and scared at the same time.
The two child actors are perfect in their roles. They’re both very likeable quickly and they’re well adapt into their roles. Like I stated above, the film has a lot of funny moments for a horror film, and many of them are from the kids themselves. They’ve achieved a lot of funny moments that would fail in the wrong hands and their performances deserve to be recognized.
What’s a Shyamalan film without a twist? The film presents a series of questions about the grandparents’ true identity and there are many possible outcomes. The answer will keep you guessing and I honestly didn’t see it coming. It’s a good twist.
The Visit is overall good fun. There might be a moment here and ther that doesn’t work out, but it’s not something that heavily crippled the film. If anything, this allows the name M.Night Shyamalan to hold water again and I’m looking forward to the director’s next film again.
- The Good:
- Genuinely a good film.
- The child actors.
- Great mix of horror and comedy.
- The Bad:
- A few low points here and there.
- Overall Score: 7.8/10