Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Written by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, and Kathryn Hahn
While on a weeklong visit to their estranged grandparents, two children learn that there is more to the grandparents than the children had initially thought.
Like many contemporary horror films, The Visit is a found footage film. This movie had no business being a found footage film. The found footage elements made half of the first two-thirds of The Visit exactly the kind of film that an audience has come to expect from Shyamalan over the last decade. The first two-thirds of the film divided by spending time with the kids and exploring the grandparent’s weird stuff. The half spent with the kids Shyamalan should have cut out of the movie; the kids were annoying and convoluted the plot, which drags the movie down. The half of the first two-thirds that dealt with the grandparents was the only thing that kept the first two-thirds moving along. The found footage elements make the film dull for the first two-thirds because found footage films have a singular perspective, that of whoever has the camera. The singular view leads found footage films to have at best a weak through-line narrative. The first two-thirds of this movie was confusing and slow and did very little to progress the plot of the film.
For all the weakness of the first two-thirds of The Visit the last third of the movie after the twist is revealed, is the best film that Shyamalan has made in a decade. The twist in this movie is a twist that I had not thought was even a possible scenario until the twist came. The last third of the movie is intense, engaging, and it makes up for the fact that the first two-thirds of the film were dull and slow.
The Visit is a film that simultaneously manages to represent the current state of its creators career and represent the promise that he had shown early in his career. The Visit receives 3/5.