After directing/writing movies in the past ten years that left the audience wondering what happened to Shyamalan’s talent for filmmaking, he is back in good form with “The Visit,” which he wrote/directed.  Working with a low budget and virtually unknown actors, Night has crafted a good horror/suspense movie starring Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould as siblings who visit their grandparents for the first time and quickly realize their grandparents are very, very odd.

Each grandparent, separately, explains the strange behavior of the other grandparent; and for the first two or three days the children accept it without too much of a problem.  But as more days pass, the grandparents exhibit more terrifying behavior which will force the children to fight for their lives on the last night of their visit.

“The Visit” is shown from the point of view of the cameras the children bring to document their first meeting with their grandparents.  I usually find this style annoying as it tends to have jittery camerawork plus it usually contains the shenanigan of the character still holding on to the camera and shooting footage even though his life is in imminent danger (the explanation typically given is “this is important, I need to keep shooting” is b.s.).  Thankfully, “The Visit” had limited, jittery camerawork, but it still had the shenanigan I just mentioned.   Despite these two drawbacks, I was impressed with Shyamalan’s work.  “The Visit” had the cheap scares as well as genuine ones that will dry your mouth and have you holding your breath as you wait for what happens next.  This is a movie I will happily watch again with someone who hasn’t seen it yet.

And now, kiddies, it’s time for my most memorable, movie moments of “The Visit.”  #3 goes to the night footage of the camera set in the living room, and we see the grandmother walking around erratically, slamming doors and then disappearing from view, only to show up later to do something shocking (that got me to uncontrollably curse out…and my little nieces were in the same room with me watching this movie).  #2 goes to the scene when the grandfather shoves a diaper full of his feces into the face of Oxenbould.  #1 is the scene that reveals why the grandparents are the way they are.  This reveal is ruined because of the shenanigan of the children staying in the house (it was daytime when the revelation occurred, and it was nighttime when the final confrontations happened — so in all that time the kids never had a chance to get out of the house?).  You watch and tell me if I’m being too harsh or if I made the right call.

— M

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