A couple of really shocking things happened to me today, things I never thought I would be able to say I experienced since childhood. First, I saw a found footage movie, in theaters, and I liked it. Second, I saw a new M. Night Shyamalan movie, and I actually liked it. I really liked it. I've gotta take a second here, those words are tough to get out. After disasters like Lady in the Water, After Earth, and, please don't make me say it......ugh, The Happening, I told myself I would never trust M. Night again. I'll always enjoy his older hits, but never again was I going to sit in a theater, paying my hard-earned money to watch one his monstrosities. Yet, this afternoon, after some decent trailers, a Regal gift card, and a whole lotta boredom, there I sat. About every ten minutes throughout the movie I would think to myself, "Here it comes. This movie is about to take a terrible turn and I'm going to be furious." Then, the strangest thing, it never happened. I sat through an hour and forty minutes of pure, unadulterated, M. Night Shyamaness, and I really enjoyed every minute of it.
To keep it short and free of spoilers, I'll review most of what you all already know. There are two teenagers who are going to spend a week with their grandparents whom they don't really know all too well. Throughout the week, the behavior of said grandparents gets increasingly creepier, and the kids grow more suspicious. Their mom, and the older sister at times, just pushed the behavior aside as simple "old people behavior." As the week becomes more terrifying there is, in true M. Night fashion, a major twist that results in their visit becoming even stranger. To be honest, though, this was a twist that I actually enjoyed. I saw it coming, but I was really kinda hoping he would take it in that exact direction. Kudos, Mr. Shyamalan.
There were laughs that were there, not out of pity but out of actual intention, there were a couple jump scares that actually worked incredibly well, there was suspense, and a dose of deep elderly disturbia (I genuinely hesitated about calling my grandma this afternoon). It really had all the ingredients for a good movie. It wasn't the scariest movie I'd ever seen, nor was it Night's best work, but it's by far his most unique and most thought provoking. The main characters are two kids you can actually get behind and the plot builds up well enough that you actually care to find out what's going to happen next. This is no where near the best film of the year, but it marks the possible return of what could have been an incredible career. Seriously, can we just forget The Happening ever, well, happened?