M. Night Shyamalan is back with his latest thriller, The Visit. It’s a very basic premise. Two grandchildren, Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) spend a week with their estranged grandparents (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie) Everything starts off great but as the week goes on, their grandparents’ behaviour gets stranger and stranger and the kids just want to go home. But will they ever make it back?
The film is told through the lens of the childrens’ cameras, as older sister, Becca, is making a documentary about her mum (Kathryn Hahn), and the reason she became estranged from her own parents. Don’t let that put you off though, as there’s not too much shaky camera moments in this film, so, instead of giving you a headache, Shyamalan has successfully created an intimate relationship between his protagonists and the audience.
In true Shyamalan style, this film has a twist. He is the master of the twist – most famously and best done in The Sixth Sense. If you don’t guess the twist and are shocked by it when it is revealed I think you will enjoy this film. The problem is, if you guess it early, as happened to me (well I didn’t really figure it out, the mate I was with didand told me what it was 15 minutes into the film) it will affect the enjoyment of this film.
Shyamalan claims that this is the scariest film he has ever made. I am the biggest woos I know, and don’t usually go to horrors because I can’t sleep for weeks afterwards. That said, I did not find this film scary at all. I jumped once and found it more creepy – in a bad way – than scary. I had more eye rolls at scenes than freak outs. Again, I think this was all down to the fact that the twist had been revealed to me so early on in the film. So, instead of being in constant suspense and on the edge of my seat, I found this film to be boring and silly and couldn’t wait for it to be over.
I don’t think this will be the film that puts Shyamalan back in everyone’s good books. With any luck, it will be the next thriller he is about to start filming with Joaquin Phoenix.