Movie Review: THE VISIT – M. Night Shyamalan’s return to form
This movie sees the return of M. Night Shyamalan, a director who is known for great films such as ‘Signs’ and ‘The Sixth Sense’, but on the opposite end of the spectrum he has also made films like ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ and ‘After Earth’, and then ‘The Happening’ sits somewhere in between terrible and genius. It feels like we have been waiting forever to see M. Night return to making good films and it looks like with this film i can say that the seemingly impossible has happened, ‘The Visit’ marks the return of the master of twists. For me his return happened this year with the AMAZING mini-series Wayward Pines but in terms of movies this is the return. It is not one of the best horror movies i have seen recently but the combination of horror and thrills with some laughs here and there really worked in this film as oppose to his other attempts.
If i was to describe this movie in one word it would have to be ‘weird’, this movie was just so incredibly odd and at times creepy and it had me on the edge of my seat more times than not. The grandparents in this film were some of the most unsettling characters this year, there was something really odd about them and i couldn’t put my finger on it. Even when they weren’t creepily crawling around there was always something off about them, and M. Night managed to show that really well. I won’t talk any more about the grandparents and what is going on with them as his famous ‘twist’ is back, even though i didn’t really think it was that great i definitely couldn’t pick it out until the reveal.
When you try to add comedy into a horror film that looks like it was trying to take itself seriously you run the risk of it becoming too cheesy. But somehow he managed to make the comedy really work, it wasn’t overpowered by the horror and it didn’t make the film look too silly, although, it definitely had its fair share of well timed comedy. There were surprisingly a few laugh out loud moments that lighten the mood and contrast the dark tones very well making it quite enjoyable. The performances in this film were actually pretty damn good but not exactly great. The grandparents played that creepy and mysterious role well and were very convincing, also the two kids played the characters well even though i thought the characters were kinda typical stereotypes in these types of horror films.
In terms of what i didn’t like, i have to say that the first 15-20 minutes was very cheesy and at times cringeworthy whilst introducing this family. But when the horror elements get introduced that is when the film picks up and the kids grew on me. The pacing was also a little off, similar to Paranormal Activity, you have patches of creepy activity and then a few patches of more slower story driven sections. Some of these more slower scenes i felt went for a little too long between the thriller scenes but it was just a minor thing.
In the end, this was a very difficult film to review, it was just a very weird film and it is going to take me a couple of days to take it all in and get a clear view of what was good and what wasn’t so for now i gotta say i enjoyed this film. It was a good blend of comedy and horror had gives a good amount of fun and at the same time creeps you out. It was definitely a film worth watching and i am curious to see if he can continue this good run. – 6.8