|Complete credited cast:|
Review- To say that expectations for his film were low is an understatement. The sole time that I saw a trailer for The Visit a member of the audience visibly groaned as soon as Shyamalan’s name appeared on the screen. And after watching the wretched thing I agreed with him completely.
I want to make one thing crystal clear. Since this is a self-written, self-funded (with money from After Earth-because that film hasn’t caused enough suffering), self-edited and self-produced film then Shyamalan has no-one to blame but himself for this.
Lets run down the positives…. and moving on.
This film lost me in the first five seconds and never really won me back. The reason is simple. The soundtrack. Whether you realize it or not, most horror films rely heavily on the soundtrack, a subtle heartbeat, the sound of violins, even pianos can come together to cause a sense of dread in the audience. Preparing them for whats about to happen.
The Visit starts with the music from a cheesy 50’s B movie. Before launching straight into a massive exposition dump.
This is a found footage film, the reason given is that two children are going to meet their grandparents for the first time. The older one (played rather well by Olivia DeJonge) is an aspiring film maker and wants to document the visit. It works as the central idea, unfortunately, the character has the habit of talking like a 30 year old film student and I didn’t feel in the least attached to her. Her younger brother (played by Ed Oxenbould) I would happily have flayed. He’s given exactly two traits, he raps and is scared of germs. Both of which are mentioned every 5 seconds.
The elderly couple are quite believable and initially offer quite rational explanations for the events in the house, until the second half when it all goes sideways.
Allegedly, Shyamalan filmed 3 versions of this film: A straight horror (except this film isn’t scary), a straight comedy (it’s not funny) or a mixture of the two genres (which I believe was released.) And the director’s wondering eye means that the films tone is all over the place. Scenes that should be scary get punctured by a joke and scenes that should be funny are played for scares. It’s all over the place.
None of the characters are believable in the way that they speak, act or behave.
And of course, there is THE TWIST. Now, imagine that you are writing a film about an elderly couple living in a farm in the middle of nowhere who summon their grandchildren (whom they have never met) and then beginning rather oddly at night. Now write THE TWIST. Congratulations! It’s a better twist than the one that was in this film which manged the impressive feat of creating more plot-holes than it solved.
So to sum up, its all over the place in tone, I didn’t care about the characters and THE TWIST creates more problems than it solved.
My Score- Fire