The Visit (2015) is a peculiar tale of twisted intrigue which is, at times, sadly predictable; however it still manages the tense-flinches and edge-of-your-seat rattle of the nerves that make a good horror. This film is a horror for the inner child in each of us, tugging at bedtime story memories and Grimm fairy tale fears. The film follows two children visiting their grandparents for the first time the pair (Becca and Tyler) film the trip to help their mother heal after years away from her parents. As we know with any movie by this infamous director there is a twist and for this film it is brought about by a pattern of events, each weirder than the last, that steadily lead us to our horrific revelation.
Directed by the infamous M. N. Shyamalan the film follows a documentary approach with one of the characters explaining her wish to document the visit for her mother.
The use of ‘home made’ camera work is at times a seemingly strange and unsuitable choice however as we follow the film to the end the offering of only that which the characters have seen allows a degree of investment that keeps the audience involved. From the ominous opening score merging with the clicks of the typewriter, to the penultimate disjointed scenes of beautiful music and intense acting the film flows like a river with lulls and tension intertwined in a way that only works for parts of the movie. This irregular switch and use of false tension ordinarily successful is at times drawn out leaving the audience impatient for conclusion.
The story itself is good although far from original and the general feel of the film is an average success. Losing edge to predictable frights and twists that the audience have come to expect from Shyamalan the great parts of this movie are the acting and the infusion of folklore horror such as the oven cleaning scene and tale of the pond.
This is a film I am glad to have seen and appreciate for its strengths but I fail to find myself unsettled by its regularly unsuitable methods and pitifully predictable twists.
3 *** Worth a peek but a little obvious for my taste