A RARE SHYAMALAN VISIT WITH CHILLS AND UNINTENTIONAL HILARITY THAT CAN BE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B- (3 stars)
Don’t leave your room after 9:30 during The Visit
HALLELLUJAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry just had to get that out, anyway, director M
. Nigh Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable,
Signs ) had quite an interesting
career in filmmaking. He started off on top of the world wit h the 1999 Oscar nominated thriller, The Sixth Sense starring Bruce Willis,
Toni Collette, and Haley Joel Osment which was widely praised by critics and
audiences alike, was a box office hit during its theatrical release, and was
nominated for numerous Academy Awards.
The following year, he directed Unbreakable, it received favorable reviews from critics and audiences when it came out in 2000, though more people were split on the movie, but it certainly wasn’t bad. Then we move into the 2002 film Signs which starred Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, and Abigail Breslin, which like The Sixth Sense received very positive reviews from critics when the film was released, but later reception was more negative, and thus beginn
ing the hilarious downfall of Shyamalan’s career.
After Signs, his movies kept getting sillier and sillier, from The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, to his cinematic tragedy, The Last Airbender, his hilariously bad, Devil, and the movie that failed to make Jaden Smi
th a star, After Earth,
all hope was lost for Shyamalan to direct a good movie again like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable…until now.
In comes his latest film,
produced by Jason Blum (Paranormal
Activity franchise, Insidious
trilogy, The Purge), which at first I
was expecting this movie to crash and burn like Shyamalan’s other recent films
after I first saw the trailer before one of Jason Blum’s other recent
thrillers, Unfriended. Shortly
afterwards I posted a link to the trailer on my Facebook wall claiming that if
it doesn’t get at least a 60% or higher score on Rotten Tomatoes, I wouldn’t go see it, well, it did, so a deal’s a
deal and I went to go see it.
And it pretty much delivered what I was expecting, but in a good way, the film is shot in a found-footage style with a handheld camera and cheap effects, a creepy tone, and when it needs to be, unintentionally hilarious, although perhaps it could just be M. Night Shyamalan making fun of his own directing style, but it’s a
entertaining film by him and these come incredibly rarely.
Brother and sister, Tyler (Ed
Oxenbould-Alexander and the Terrible,
Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Paper
Planes) and Becca (Olivia DeJonge-The
Sisterhood of Night) are sent to their grandparents’ remote farm in
Pennsylvania for a weeklong visit by their single mom. At first it seems very
pleasant, the grandparents are nice, the home is comfortable, the farm and
woodland area is strangely beautiful, and the nearby town has a lot to see,
perfect for Becca’s homemade documentary film about her mom and grandparents’
lives and for Tyler to gain inspiration for his dream career of being a rapper.
Every night, Becca and Tyler hear noises coming from downstairs and they eventually realize that there is something wrong; their grandparents are involved with something very disturbing. Either they’re paranoid, psychotic, or just odd.
They’re determined to find out what’s wrong with them but their chances of returning home safe and
growing smaller every day.
Overall, The Visit is a thoroughly enjoyable M. Night Shyamalan movie, the film is shot well and m
imics a home movie, it doesn’t go right into the horror
or Shyamalan traditions, lots of buildup and atmosphere and it’s decently done
here , and of course it’s chillingly funny, still not sure if it’s intentional
Oxenbould and DeJonge are pretty decent young acto
rs and unlike other Shyamalan movies, they don’t talk or act
like Shyamalan characters, their acting seems very natural to how kids usuall y
act, I hope they go somewhere because they got talent. Now the traditional
Shyamalan characters are present and they’re the grandparents, every time
they’re on screen they look like a blend between both kind and threatening.
Fortunately the Shyamalan twist doesn’t derail the movie, it’s a well thought out twist, but it does result in hilarity overload, but not in a bad way. This movie blows The Last Airbender and After Earth out of the water when it comes to Shyamalan, it’s no Shyamalan masterpiece like The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable, nor do I consider it a “Good Scary Movie”, but in terms of entertainment and just plain absurdity, this movie delivers and it’s a sign that M. Night Shyamalan is slowly making a comeback to good movies, as long as we don’t get The Last Airbender 2.