M. Night Shyalaman is back!
I've always been a big fan of this man's work. And even though in his later work, with such films as The Village or The Happening, may not have sat well with me, I still respected his vision, his knack for storytelling, and how he kept us gripped with suspense and fear. Still, through all of that fear, he managed to inject morals to his stories and conjure emotional tearful responses from us as the audiences.
As a producer, the horror film, "Devil", was a hit in my book and felt he chose a fantastic piece of material to turn into a film!
I personally loved The Visit! As I began watching the picture I immediately thought that M. Night is back at the top of his game! I went through the same roller-coaster of emotions with this film as I did watching The Sixth Sense! And I loved the moments of emotionality in this story, especially the ending! But overall this film reinvigorated my love and respect for M. Night's body of work.
As I'm sure you have seen the trailer, you get the jist of what the movie is about. However if you haven't seen the trailer yet, here's a quick rundown. A woman sends her two children to meet and visit with their grandparents for the very first time, as there had been a falling out between the mom and her own parents. As the kids are currently going through their own family rift and troubles concerning their father, they begin to notice some extremely strange behavior coming from their grandparents, and they soon realize their week long visit is progressively turning into a week of hell....Right! Like I would go into great detail and spoil the famous M. Night Shyalaman twist he tends to inject into his movies! This movie has a GREAT plot twist, one I so did not see coming!
The two young actors, Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould, who play brother and sister, Becca and Tyler, are remarkable in this film! They really got a strong hold on how to play their characters with moments of fine subtlety and vulnerability during the emotional parts, as well as play fear in different, more authentic ways - Impressive! Comedic actress Kathryn Hahn is not just a comedic actress, don't let her filmography of most comedy films fool you; she can just as well play drama! Her last scene is really something I had not seen from her in a lot of her other films. She did have a bit of a dramatic role in the indie film "Afternoon Delight", co-starring "How I Met Your Mother" actor Josh Radnor, however, getting back to his film - Kathryn did a top notch job with a smaller part! Kudos! And of course we can't forget the grandparents, Nana and Pop Pop, played by seasoned and veteran actors Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie. Whose filmography, track record, and body of work on stage and in film is something to be admired and respected! They both really shined as they explored doing things that they're typically not known for doing as actors. And more so, they did these things frighteningly and convincingly! Proving once again why they're so damn good at what they do!
M.Night said once in an interview about this film, and I'm paraphrasing here, that even though the shooting style and camera work wasn't as locked down as his other films, each shot was meticulously mapped out and planned. Even though it looked like it was shot loosely like a documentary. With that being said, the way it was filmed and shot, lent itself perfectly to bizarre and disturbing moments, as well as the suspenseful and horrifying moments, and the humorous and emotional moments. So, to you M. Night, I say: Well Played, Sir - Well Played! You knocked it out of the park with this picture!
The Visit Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"