The Visit Review

Preface

  • Night Shymalan’s newest project is a found footage horror movie focused on two kid actors, one of whom plays an aspiring rapper, that go to visit their estranged grandparents for the week. And there it is.
  • Does that description sound awful? Probably.
  • Did the trailer to this movie look unwatchable? Yes it did.
  • So how was this movie? SUPER entertaining actually!

Cast and Characters

  • So the lead actress in this movie is fairly unknown (at least I don’t know her…), but she’s like 15 or 16?
  • And she is GREAT in this movie!
  • She plays this aspiring filmmaker who wants to do a documentary, and this actress absolutely nails her performance. She never feels underused.
  • And she has this great older sister dynamic to her younger brother, another unknown kid actor.
  • This kid was the scene-stealer throughout the movie because, like I said, he’s an aspiring rapper.
  • He tries to act like this thug, and he’s a skinny, white, 12 or 13 year old.
  • He had these fantastic jokes in the movie that just worked so well.
  • And the actors that played the grandparents were really good too, especially the grandmother. She was CREEPY in parts, and she had a lot to do and a certain way to be, and she nailed it.
  • The grandfather was good in the movie too, but he didn’t have AS much to do. He had some good scenes, just not as many that grabbed your attention as the grandmother.

Writing/Direction

  • So how did Shymalan do in the writing and directing chair…? Pretty good. At least I thought so!
  • I will say that the trailer to this movie was awful. It made it look like some cheesy, found-footage piece of crap that would come out in January.
  • But this really is a September movie.
  • My theater was filled with mostly teenagers and some tweens, who just want to see an entertaining movie after school on a Friday.
  • And that’s what we got.
  • The first half of this movie is almost entirely a comedy though.
  • I’m not talking about ‘so bad it’s funny’ type of deal, but more like a ‘so much comic relief, and these characters are all funny people’ while the thriller aspects are being set up.
  • There are a lot of solid scares in this movie too.
  • I’m really, really happy that the movie doesn’t use any supernatural elements, because it feels like it may go that way at a few points, but it stays realistic and I enjoyed that.
  • Some of the humor doesn’t transition too well into the horror too well though.
  • Like, I really enjoyed the blend of the two, but sometimes characters would be cracking jokes, and then a scare wouldn’t feel as heavy because the joke diffused it.
  • Or the other way around. Sometimes a scene was REALLY scary (there were some jump scares, but a lot of really solid scary imagery in this movie) scene that just made the next joke feel pointless.
  • The writing was really on though.
  • The dialogue is good, the characters are handled extremely well and they all feel compatible with one another.
  • The end does feel a bit rushed and I wish they took some time to plant a couple more clues and resolution points.
  • And there’s a twist in the movie.
  • Almost everyone in my theater was whispering almost the whole time, so sometimes I would turn to my friends and we’d say, “THIS is what the twist is gonna be, or THAT is what the twist is gonna be.”
  • And the twist just kinda ends up being this average and predictable thing.
  • My friends and I were actually over-engineering what we thought the twist was. And for a movie that was written so well, I wish the twist was better, or at least had a bit more surprise value.
  • If you’re smarter than my friends and I, you could probably see it coming a mile away.
  • And there are just one or two other bits of the movie that probably could have been done better.
  • One friend of mine had this REALLY cool pitch as to how one of the movie’s final scenes could have gone, and it would have been an awesome minor twist, AND been better than what they did on screen.
  • But Shymalan did a good job directing this thing.
  • We’re all kinda past the found footage gimmick (cuz that’s what it is) at this point, but he made sure that the cameras were crisp and there was no shaky cam.
  • And because there were actors we cared about in it, that made the found footage less noticeable.
  • There are a lot of found footage movies that have come out over the past few years that felt unnecessarily shot in found footage and shaky cam, and they didn’t have to be.
  • Weirdly enough, I can’t picture this movie without the found footage element…
  • So props Shymalan!

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion Guys, the acting in The Visit was GREAT, the writing was pretty decent, and the directing was pretty well done.
  • The mix of hilarious, laugh-out-loud humor plus the actually frightening scares made this one of the most fun theater experiences I’ve had in 2015. That and the audience in my theater was really good…
  • There was some predictability and things that definitely could have been touched up, but I will say that The Visit is a REALLY Fun Time and Definitely Worth Checking Out.

 

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on The Visit! What are your thoughts on this movie if you’ve seen it? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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