ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

This piece of trash is funny when it's not supposed to be, and it scares me that some people liked it.

1. M. Night Shyamalan is back again with one of the worst films of 2015. It's also one of Shyamalan's best films.

2. This is Shyamalan's attempt at found-footage horror. Or comedy. Or drama. Or something. I didn't laugh or get scared at the right times, so I'm not sure what the intended effect was.

3. It's about 2 precocious kids who go to visit their grandparents for the first time, because their mother hasn't talked to them for about 15 years. The girl, named Rebecca, wants to be some kind of tween Barbara Walters and interview their grandparents while documenting the week.

4. Immediately the grandparents start acting weird and suspicious and cheerful all at the same time. I admit that Deanna Dunigan and Peter McRobbie do give creepy performances here. The problem is that the old folks' increasingly erratic and threatening behavior has no real pattern, nor it doesn't give any clues as to what's going on. They just randomly do weird things.

5. The movie commits all the usual found-footage errors - cameras that are held at improbable angles at improbable times, with an ambient soundtrack in the background and sudden bass-heavy stereo musical stings. I've never seen a camera that comes with its own soundtracks and personalized bass levels.

6. Randomly, the kids also decide to interview each other. This is to set up a backstory for how they will act during the climax of the film. But it really is just a cover up for a sloppy script. By the way, the kids are really annoying and I kinda hoped they would get killed.

7. Shyamalan is known for providing audiences with twist endings. And he tries it here, too. But again, it's sloppy and completely unsatisfying. I rolled my eyes so hard at the "scariest" part of the film that I think I hurt myself.

8. There are some individually creepy moments in this movie. But they don't add up to anything coherent, and by the time I knew what was going on, I didn't really care anymore.

9. There is supposed to be a moral to this story - it's not a good idea to hang on to anger when people hurt you. But the only message I got out of it is to make sure your parents aren't lunatics when you send your kids to visit.

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