The Visit (2015)★★★☆☆


I (like many folks I know) have a love/hate relationship with M. Night Shyamalan. I loved Unbreakable and thought The Sixth Sense was pretty okay, and I hated The Happening (despite Zooey Deschanel – but that’s a review for another day) and was pretty bored by Lady in the Water. So I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Visit.

Then I watched the trailer for it, and realized it was basically an M. Night Shyamalan found footage film, and was even less sure what to expect from it. About where I landed…I’m on the fence about it, much like my overall sentiment towards the director.

The acting was good (I love Kathryn Hahn, and she was well cast for the ten minutes of screen time she had), and the story was pretty clever. And yes, there was a twist (of course). But something about the pacing didn’t work quite right, so the twist didn’t really land and I didn’t fall in love with the film or anything.

I read somewhere (of course I can’t find it now) that M. Night Shyamalan actually cut three versions of this movie: one that was pure horror, one that was mostly comedy, and the final product which is essentially a mix of both.

There are some definitely creepy moments to the film, and a few good jump scares here and there, and it’s reasonably entertaining to watch all the way through.

Oh, but fair warning: I did find myself wanting to punch both of the kids in the face by the end of the film…maybe it was the dialogue or something, but they came off as pretentious and pompous and, well, very young.