The Visit movie poster
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The Visit
The Visit movie poster

The Visit Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

M. Night Shyamalan is back. And it’s a good thing for once.

The Visit, an intentionally cheesy (I hope) horror movie laced with more comedy than scares, unafraid to be absurd in the creepiest of ways, and featuring a satisfyingly simple twist that harkens back to those good Shyamalan movies from ages ago, is a refreshing blast of fun.

Though it suffers from some stilted, who-actually-says-that dialogue and lead characters who are overtly obnoxious for half the film, The Visit is a shockingly entertaining piece of camp. Sure, the teenage leads (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould) say some dumb things--they are teenagers, after all--and the found footage techniques utilized here are far from revolutionary, but Shyamalan has always had a knack for building to payoff in the third act (even if the payoff isn’t worth it).

For the first time in a long time, Shyamalan delivers, fluffing the audience up with lots of laugh and oddly lighthearted moments while repeatedly reminding the audience that shit can and will go wrong at any given moment. The movie certainly works better as a comedy with horror elements than the other way around; those expecting a frightfest will be disappointed. The Visit features a couple good scares, but is more intent on being creepy and building suspense to what happens in the third act.

And the third act is worth it. I won’t say anything other than:

  1. You’ll never want to be left alone in a house with your grandma again
  2. You’ll never look at adult diapers again

The Visit could have been better. Even with the same tone, Shyamalan could have amped up the horror in a few parts. He fails to generate scares like some other found footage movies--namely the Paranormal Activity movies--have done; he accidentally ratchets down the suspense with questionable editing in some notable moments, especially a scene where the grandma discovers a hidden camera.

The Visit is not an easy movie to review. The way the movie is made is too cheeseball to call good, and yet it’s entertaining from start to finish. It isn’t particularly scary, but Shyamalan pulls off some effective scares. It’s funny, but not in the way you’d expect. It’s a movie that some people will hate and others will love. It’s hard to recommend it for the reasons, and yet I was thoroughly entertained.

Either way, M. Night Shyamalan is back, if only for a fleeting moment.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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