Just when you thought you should discredit M. Night Shyamalan, he comes out with another solid movie. Yesterday, the awesome people at Moviepilot gave me the opportunity to go to an advance screening of The Visit and it did not disappoint. For those unfamiliar with this movie, here's the trailer:
There are times that a movie trailer gives away the entire movie. Comedy trailers tell all the good jokes, an entire plot of a drama is given away, and the surprise twist of a suspense/thriller is spoiled. The Visit is not one of those films. That being said, here are a few reasons why you should check out this movie...
Great Acting & Characters
It is a bit of a gamble when you have a small cast. If the audience doesn't connect with or like the characters, it makes it difficult to really appreciate the film for what it is. The cast of The Visit really pulled together to portray solid characters. Becca and Tyler (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould, respectively) play off each other wonderfully despite being rather opposing characters. The mother hen, uptight sister and the goofy, comic-relief of a brother have their moments of sibling rivalry but also close, intimate scenes that truly reflect their brother-sister relationship. Although that is what the audience sees on the surface, you can tell there are more layers to the characters, something deep down that slowly unfolds throughout.
Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie (Nana and Pop Pop) were also the perfect duo. Their combination of being loving and caring grandparents along with the skin crawlingly creepy strangers is done amazingly well. There are multiple times throughout the movie where the audience was left speechless yet freaked out by their odd quirks. Couple that with both of their abilities to have that deranged blank stare as if they were possessed just adds the unsettling vibe.
Solid Use of Cameras
Despite the almost overuse of the found-footage style in horror movies, Shyamalan did a great job using the loose cameras to his advantage. Utilizing the cameras within the storyline itself (Becca is an aspiring filmmaker and employs her brother as another camera operator) not only aided to the plot progression, but was used to also get inside the minds of the characters. Furthermore, having the movie unfold from the eyes of the two children really helped the audience connect with the fear and anxiety that the characters were going through.
Like I said before, the trailer did not spoil a thing. If you were like me and did not know much about the film, you would not have expected the comedic aspect that was perfectly blended into the suspenseful moments. Those humorous parts were surprising to say the least, which just added more to the bobbing roller coaster feel of the movie. One moment, you'll get a good laugh... the next you're jumping out of your seat.
The Shyamalan Twist
In most Shyamalan movies, there is an unexpected plot turn near the climax of the movie. Sometimes these twists pay off (The Sixth Sense) and other times they leave the audience wondering why someone would think that the device was a good idea at all (The Happening). In my opinion, The Visit had one of his better surprising moments. There wasn't a single jaw left closed, all hanging in disbelief, thinking, "No! WHAT? NO." A part of me wishes that I could re-watch the film all over again without knowing the twist just so that I could be shocked all over again. It's very entertaining.
M. Night Shyamalan really does a fantastic job taking a basic concept and making it fantastically frightening. Sometimes a simple, clean, and well executed film is the very best way to go. The way that the movie flows and transitions from jolly to disturbing is seamless and thrilling.
The Visit is out September 11, 2015 and you should definitely be checking it out!
For our next Moviepilot Magazine, it's all about fear. So we're polling our readers to find out what terrifies them. You can help by answering the question below!
What is your greatest fear?
Got an opinion? Feel free to put it in the comments!