While the majority of movie-goers might associate M. Night Shyamalan as washed up, I don't. I don't quite understand what happened to the days when he created films like the "Sixth Sense", "Unbreakable", an "Signs", but those days seem to have faded from Shyamalan. Every couple of years or so we get another announcement of the next Shyamalan film, and many articles have the same theme, "is this going to be when Shyamalan returns?"
I don't have the answer yet, but because he's shown an ability to do good work, I'll always know it's possible. While many people like to cast blame on directors for bad films, that's not always the case. Sometimes studios like to put their fingers and toes in on projects, taking away creative freedom from the CREATOR because they've somehow convinced themselves they're the authority on good and bad ideas. While I'd like to use this as an excuse for Shyamalan, I can't apply it to all his projects, there's just to many. But what you shouldn't do if you're a studio is take and alter a filmmaker's vision.
At first glance, from the clips I've seen, "The Visit" does have that original M. Night Shyamalan look and feel to it. It feels like a less complex project than we've come to see over the last 10 years and that might be a great remedy for him to get back on track. He took the film to a secret place, out of the light, out of the news, in order to be alone with his project. The film has an estimated $5 million budget and somehow secretly filmed in Philadelphia. He turned the money he made from the Will Smith produced "After Earth" where Smith clearly used the film as a launchpad for his son, to help fund "The Visit". He said this was "an attempt to regain artistic control" after his recent movies had been denied in their final cut and some of those films taken from his hands in post-production.
"The Visit" will be one the few films he's had a chance to see and control from beginning to end, and took 2 weeks after shooting to edit the film himself claiming he only had to make "tiny adjustments".
There are many ingredients that suggest Shyamalan will be returning with a vengeance in "The Visit". Many of his stars don't have very much on their filmography, but he did point out that Olivia DeJonge blew him away with her audition tape and was convinced after just one audition that he'd found his star.
I've not been this excited about an M. Night Shyamalan film since I saw "Unbreakable". Check out the trailer HERE!