The Visit Review
The Visit is a 2015 horror film directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It is the director’s return to form and while it is far from a good movie, it is an okay diversion.
The story I liked overall and it is surprisingly the strongest point of the movie. By having an effective twist in the second half, the plot becomes much more realistic and much better explained. The twist really worked this time around. The scenario seems implausible and unrealistic at first, but becomes so much better later on and it starts to make sense. I was surprised by that and I overall really liked it.
The characters are mostly annoying. Becca is okay, but Tyler is so incredibly annoying and I was frustrated with his character. He has all the qualities the most annoying kids have – rapping, pretending to be smart and acting too mature for their age. He really is obnoxious. However, I still liked that somehow as it depicted realistic, modern kids. And of course the two older lunatics are great and serve their purpose and the mother is also really well realized and I liked the ending of the movie with her monologue.
The film has its creepy moments and is atmospheric, but I never found it to be particularly scary despite its creepy premise. It has some very unnerving moments with the twist in particular being very well executed, but the whole movie is never as scary or as dramatic as it should have been which is unfortunate.
But the aspect I found to be the most annoying here has to be the cinematography. This is the director’s first foray into found footage territory and I am not a fan of it and never will be. The camera doesn’t move too much at first, but near the end, it does and it is very annoying. It is especially frustrating during the action and horror moments when the whole sequences are just filmed with shaky camera and quick movements where you don’t see much. That was so irritating and the film would have been much better without it.
The Visit is technically weak due to that poor cinematography and some very annoying choices. It is also not as well edited and the direction could have been better. But the acting is quite good and stupendous, especially the performances from the children which are very good. The imagery could have been more atmospheric, but the character development is solid for the genre. The dialogue is irritating, but the movie has a solid structure and isn’t predictable. In terms of storytelling, it uses its premise rather well, but in terms of scares, it fails. And the tone is problematic as the humor isn’t as present as critics are saying and when it’s there, it’s not that good. It should have been much more professional and much more frightening. But it is still an okay film, especially for the director, but just the one that could have been much better.