The Visit movie review

September 14, 2015

M. Night Shyamalan has had a bit of a losing streak lately. Both critically panned and box office flops, his movies for the past nine years have been awful and people are starting to lose patience. While I can confidently say it’s not a full return to greatness, Shyamalan has finally found his stride with his new contribution to the found-footage genre. Creating a dark blend of comedy and horror, Shyamalan presents The Visit – a trip to grandmas gone wrong.

Right off the bat, brother and sister Rebecca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are thrust into an unfamiliar situation. After their lonely mother, Paula (Kathryn Hahn), who is recovering from a divorce, contacts their grandparents (Peter McRobbie & Deanna Dunagan), Rebecca and Tyler are invited to spend a week with them. Sure enough, things aren’t what they seem, as the kids realize that grandma and grandpa may be hiding a secret. The film effectively manages to build fear and preys on the fact that, to many kids, old people can be creepy and gross. The actors performances inject life into the script despite its mediocre writing. The grandparents in particular give a wonderful performance. From their first on-screen appearance, you can see that there’s something not quite right with them – maybe it’s the way grandma has a habit of facing the wall, cackling to herself or perhaps it’s Pop-Pop’s (Rebecca and Tyler’s nickname for grandpa) suspicious habit of regularly visiting the cabin storing bags of… something. Either way, both steal the spotlight when put on camera.

Rebecca is the older sister and self-proclaimed filmmaker prodigy. Throughout the movie, she flip flops from pretentious smart aleck in one scene only to make the dumbest life threatening decisions next. While there is an attempt to redeem her with some sympathy about her past, it comes off as heavy handed and really could have been left out of the film. However her backstory, which in fear of spoiling I won’t discuss, works well with her character – so I can’t complain too much. Special shoutouts to Tyler – the younger brother who provides the film with most of its laughs while still managing to be a character grounded in reality. Some of the best laughs of the film come from Tyler rapping and replacing swear words with celebrity names such as “Katy Perry”.

The best aspect of the film is how it can be absolutely terrifying one moment only to have you laughing out loud the next. One particular scene had me squirming in my seat, yelling “Close the door”, and laughing aloud at Tyler’s remarks in a span of seven seconds. Shyamalan manages a balancing act that keeps a sense of tension while allowing jokes to be regularly streamlined into the movie while somehow keeping a sense of urgency.

So, you might be thinking this must be a great film with no flaws, huh? Well, no. It has an incredibly slow beginning where I was honestly bored, yet the film managed to still reel me in with eerie night scenes. The movie also tries to give the characters a tragic backstory with their divorced father and I admit it was seamlessly implemented well in the beginning, but by the end of the film it started to come off as forced and is practically being shoved down your throat. As it is a Shyamalan movie, it does contain a twist that, despite not explaining everything in the movie, is still hands down one of his best, and managed to turn the movie’s sense of urgency up to 11. If a friend tells you he figured out the twist beforehand, he’s a liar.


Great horror with great comedy.

see it in theaters

What I Liked:

Horror/comedy blend.

Tyler and grandparents acting.

Most intense game of Yahtzee of all time.


What I Didn’t:

Rebecca (SHUT UP!)

Forced melodrama

Very slow start


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About the Contributor
Photo of Max Bowman
Max Bowman, Writer

Maxwell Bowman is a junior who adores writing and can't wait to contribute to this year's newspaper and many to come. He is currently a very attractive...

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