The Visit follows two teenage siblings, Becca and Tyler as they pay a visit to their grandparents’ house. Soon, they begin to notice strange behavior from their grandparents that only gets worse.
From what I’ve seen reactions to this film have been mixed overall. Some view it as a comeback for M. Night Shyamalan, after his line of bad movies while others view the film as ridiculous.
Well, I’m on the side of liking the film. First of all, this is actually the first M.Night film I’ve actually liked (and no, I’m not the biggest fan of The Sixth Sense). Does The Visit have flaws? Yes, it does but still I found myself liking it.
This is a slow-burning film that builds off one creepy event after another. I found it engaging although the two teen leads were rather annoying and one-dimensional. They are given qualities (germaphobe, inspiring rapper, emotionally distant, etc), but these all seemed forced and didn’t build any real character. Nana and Pop Pop, on the other hand are engaging in how over-the-top and weird they are. Tyler and Becca’s mom is also a character (they talk to her through skype), I guess she’s supposed to be important but I found her boring.
The movie is found-footage…a film sub-genre that I loathe with few exceptions. Becca and Tyler are filming a documentary while they visit. And here lies one of the movie’s flaws – it didn’t need to be found-footage at all. In a lot of ways, it limits the film as a whole.
Again, Nana and Pop Pop’s bizarre behavior is probably what makes the movie the most interesting. After 9:30 pm Nana has freak outs where she runs around naked and behaves like a deranged animal. Because of this, the kids are encouraged not to leave their room after that specific time. But Pop Pop also has a crazy quirk as well – he can’t control his bowel movements and defecates himself without warning. This means he has to wear diapers. He also keeps the dirty diapers in a shed outside that Tyler is very shocked to discover one day.
As things continue to get creepy, Tyler and Becca try to find out what’s up with Nana and Pop Pop.
Eventually we get to the twist…
that really wasn’t all that surprising but still cool. Nana and Pop Pop turn out not to actually be Tyler and Becca’s real grandparents. In fact, they killed their actual grandparents and stuffed their bodies in the basement.
However, the twist being revealed isn’t the the most intense part of the movie. There’s a very stomach turning scene where “Pop Pop” takes his soiled diaper (yes, with poo) and shoves it into Tyler’s face. Now there’s some brown shown but it’s not explicit but still shocking and gross. And although some people might think it was unnecessary, I thought the scene was well-done. Gross doesn’t always have mean something is “tasteless.”
The middle to the “near end” are the best parts of The Visit. The ending itself was disappointing.
It’s a film worth watching but will only appeal to certain people, I suppose. For me, it’s an achievement for M. Night.