Sunday, 11 October 2015

Review: The Visit

2015 Olivia Dejonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Kathryn Hahn

Director M. Night Shyamalan is one of those directors you either love or hate as the years go by, he is capable of making thought provoking and tense films such as Signs, but on the other hand he can produce uneven messy films such as The Last Airbender and the disgraceful After Earth.
I am sad to report that this years entry in the form of handheld horror flick The Visit is yet another misfire...

The Visit begins with a mother sending her 2 children to stay with there grandparents for a week whom she lost contact with due to a quarrel when the was a girl. The girl of the pair decides to video tape the whole week (because that is what children do these day apparently!?). All seems normal when they arrive and the boy of the pair (and also the comic relief for this film) wastes no time telling his Grandmother all about rap music. However when the first night approaches the duo soon learn that not all is as it appears when the long lost Grandparents are concerned...

This film sticks to a very formulaic plot in which the Grandparents increasingly become unstable as the nights pass by. This predictable approach meant I was able to guess the outcome halfway through the film. You could even skip to the Friday night showdown/finale point in the film and literally not have missed anything of value. Shyamalan uses his usual tricks of red herrings, jump scares and of course the extremely outdated and tiresome approach of 'shaky cam'.
The characters are as 2 dimensional as they come, funny boy character and sensible older sister are the main stars. The villainous Grandparents were laughably bad, going for the creep factor yet never for one second did I see them as any kind of threat to our protagonists. They were geriatrics, geriatrics aren't scary!

The overall effect of the film was just a mishmash of set pieces and ideas strung together by a wafer thin plot. Horror has never been the most intellectually challenging of genres but there were so many instances where characters made questionable decisions just to advance the plot or drag out what was meant to be a frightening scene. I cared little about the characters or thier outcome and found myself checking my watch more that once, a real stinker in what should be the spookiest month of the year.

The Verdict

The Visit fails across the board as horror/thriller, it is neither scary, nor funny, or even remotely engaging. Bland characters and a ridiculously predictable plot make this film unworthy of a visit.


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