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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The Visit | Ed Oxenbould, Olivia deJunge, Kathryn Hahn, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie | Review

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3sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE Judy Thorburn

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3lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE

 

The Visit

It is hard to believe that M. Night Shyamalan is the same filmmaker who gave us The Sixth Sense, one of my favorite films of all time.  His subsequent films have never matched the well deserved critical praise or success of that 1999 hit. Unable to live up to high expectations, it has been a downward spiral for the writer/director whose career took off on such a high note.

Nevertheless, the trailers for his latest feature film, ‘The Visit’, in which he returns to the thriller genre after two sci fi duds (The Last Airbender, After Earth), perked my interest with hope that the writer/director would finally get back on track.  

Shot under the guise of what has become an overused gimmick of found footage, ‘The Visit’ follows two siblings, young wannabee rapper Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) and his older sister, aspiring documentary filmmaker, Becca (Olivia deJunge) who have been sent to visit their elderly grandparents they have never met, while their mother, Loretta (Kathryn Hahn), who has been estranged from her parents for 15 years, is on a vacation cruise with her boyfriend.

After the kids are settled in at the isolated farm in Pennsylvania, it doesn't take too long before their Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) start displaying strange, make that disturbing, behavior such as granny projectile vomiting or scratching the walls while roaming around the house naked at night, and gramps stashing soiled adult diapers in a nearby locked shed and, at times, dressing up for a costume party that is only in his head. That is only for starters, as their creepiness and odd actions slowly but surely escalates to a dangerous level that threatens the lives of the two visiting youngsters, who had no idea what they were in for.

Shyamalan must have been inspired by the Hanzel and Gretel fairytale. I have no problem with that. But, he brings nothing original to the plate.  Except for his attempt at occasional humor, he delivers mostly cheap scares, teases, and not much suspense or tension. The mediocre script includes contrivances and illogical actions by the siblings who talk smarter than they behave, and a twist that becomes so obvious after other visitors show up leaving huge hints way before the conclusion.

What we have here is a case of been there and seen so much of what occurs in countless other horror flicks. Shyamalan really needs to put on his thinking cap, work on getting back into the groove, and make another original movie that will blow audiences away. I have faith he still is capable of that. In the meantime, when all is said and done, instead of an entertaining scare fest, ‘The Visit’ is yet another disappointing film by the writer/director.  The experience isn't as bad as the youngsters', but it is still one visit you may regret.

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