If you are visiting Nana and Pop Pop, do not leave your room after 9:30! Tyler and Becca will learn that the hard way.
September 11 2015
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie
Genre: Horror, Found Footage
Quick, think of some horrible monsters that will keep you up at night. Psychopaths? Check. Poltergeists? Check. Zombies? Check. An elderly couple that bakes cookies? Check? M. Night Shyamalan choose Grandma and Grandpa as the terror that will keep kids under their covers. Does The Visit work or should we put this with The Last Airbender?
Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) and Becca (Olivia DeJonge) are going to visit their grandparents in the country. Mom (Kathyrn Hahn) has some reservations about this visit because of a bad falling out she had with them as a teenager that caused her to run away from home. Becca decides to put her immense director skills to good use by making this a documentary about her grandparents. Thus we have justification of this being a found footage movie.
Mom says goodbye to the kids and they are met by Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie). They are sweet, old-fashioned, and quirky grandparents who live in the country. Tyler and Becca start to warm up to the sweet old folks, teaching Nana about Skype and freestyle rapping. But things start to go awry when Pop Pop tells the kids to go to bed at 9:30 and then locks the door.
The first night Olivia goes out of her room to find Nana walking around the house vomiting excessively. Other nights include Nana’s endless banging, scratching on the floor boards, and laughing maniacally. Nana starts to change as the signs get creepier and creepier. Pop Pop starts having crazy delusions and talking about a white beast he sees at night.
Soon the kids start to feel their lives are in danger as Nana and Pop Pop start becoming more reckless and sporadic. Becca tries to constantly interview them to learn about the connection they have with their mother, meanwhile learning about the father that left them at an early age. Finally the twist at the end sends everything into chaos as we learn the true story of Nana and Pop Pop and why the kids will not live through the night.
Language: Tyler is the culprit of a few S-bombs, a few A-bombs, and gives a middle finger.
Violence: Violence is forfeited for atmosphere and creepy undertones. The most violent thing you will see is a hanging, but even that is quick. There is a stabbing and Tyler shows some violent retaliation near the end of the movie, but you don’t really see anything because of the camera angles. Also, glimpses of suicide and talk of murder is shown.
Nudity: Nana shows her bare buttocks a few times. *Shudder* Scene still better than The Last Airbender.
Positive Content: M. Night goes to town on the metaphysical/spiritual story behind this nightmare. The movie deals with issues of regret, resentment and bitterness. Behind the terrifying truth about deranged grandparents is a beautiful message about holding onto anger and the negative effects of having a parent leave at an early age. Whatever this movie lacks in terror moments, it supplements itself with a heart warming story of redemption.
Found footage movies are usually the hardest pill to swallow in terms of belief. You mean to tell me that the person holding the camera always has the best camera shots even when they are running away from the monster? It is unrealistic that a person about to get eaten still has time to hold the camera. In The Visit, they justify the camera angles by making one of the main characters an over passionate movie director named Becca.
Her documentary is part of her obsession with being an artistic indie film maker. Her brother, Tyler, is the perfect hammy middle school stud. He loves to freestyle rap, thinks every girl is in love with his “bod,” and occasionally torments his sister. These two stars have wonderful chemistry and they keep things light with humor. I prefer Tyler and Becca over the brothers in Jurassic World any day.
The Visit is a scary movie, but not in the way that most people want to be scared. The threat of Nana and Pop Pop isn’t fill your pants scary. Instead it is creepy, completely unsuspected, and is meant to scare you. The way Nana pops out of nowhere and acts like a vicious animal is sure to cause a few jump scares.
Meanwhile, Pop Pop says some very disturbing things. Becca will walk in on him pointing a shotgun to his chin and he will quickly say, “I was just cleaning it.” The fear in this movie is not from some demonic presence, but from the fear of visiting someone that is unpredictable and crazy. The fear is a slow burn that doesn’t focus on gore and violence, but slowly unravels the truth that Tyler and Becca are in serious peril from some crazy people.
I had the displeasure of watching the trailer, which spoiled every climatic moment. If you have not seen the trailer, but want to watch this movie then you should skip the preview and give yourself a surprise.
Critics tease M. Night for being too kiddie in his movies and his live-action adaptation of Avatar: the Last Airbender is considered unforgivable in many circles. But underneath his strange creative choices lies a storyteller that loves finding redemption in all his characters. Tyler and Becca have some deep hurts from their father leaving them and it left a scar. We see them wrestle with their quirks and fears as they fight off the deranged grandparents. Coupled with Jason Blum (the producer of Insidious) this movie is the good kind of scare yourself silly.
I was expecting to be scared and creeped out, but instead I was charmed into following two very interesting kids as they dealt with two very psychotic people. The acting and story are superb and the jump scares are plenty. Maybe M. Night has not lost his touch.
+ Great chemistry and build up between Tyler and Becca
+ Creepy as all
+ Very redeeming and satisfying ending
- Not your typical scary movie