Flash Movie Review: The Visit

Walking into a room where the strangers are related to you by blood means nothing to a young child. It even sounds icky. I remember as a young kid meeting a relative who was 2 generations removed from me. She was quite short and frail looking with dull white hair tied up into a bun on top of her head. Taking my cues from the adults going up to her, when it was my turn to be introduced to her I carefully wrapped my arms around her when she came over to hug me. It was the only time I ever saw this person but I still have that memory. When one is a child, it can be a scary experience meeting some stranger who you were told is your relative. Before I had ever heard the word dementia I remember going to a nursing home to visit a relative. As I walked into the place the bright fluorescent lights sounded as if they were humming as the smell of bleach hit me like a moist fog. There was a woman sitting on the side dressed in a housecoat and torn sweater. She greeted us with a loud “howdy” and continued to say it over and over. I already was on edge and felt uncomfortable as we walked into a large dining hall. There were some people who were dressed up as if they were attending a fancy social function while others sat motionless while nurses tried to slide spoonfuls of nondescript food into their mouths. As a kid, visiting older relatives sometimes took on a scary aspect.    BECCA and Tyler, played by Olivia DeJonge (The Sisterhood of NIght) and Ed Oxenbould (Paper Planes; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) were going to visit their grandparents for the first time. They hoped to document their time spent there and find answers to why their mother stopped talking to her parents years ago. This comedic horror film from writer and director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village) was a vast improvement from his recent movies. I particularly enjoyed the filming of this story, where certain things were just slightly out of focus while characters were being filmed off center. With Deanna Dunagan (Dimension, Running Scared) and Peter McRobbie (Lincoln, 16 Blocks) as Nana and Pop Pop, I thought the cast did an exceptional job with their characters. They added believability to the premise of the story. On the down side, I found some scenes lacked intensity. This may have been due to the mix of comedy with horror; in my mind they sort of cancel each other out. In addition I felt several stereotypical actions for shock value were just thrown into the mix. This was a step in the right direction for M. Night Shyamalan. My visits to relatives were not as scary as this one.

 

2 1/2 stars

 

 

 

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on September 15, 2015, in Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Hmmm. Worth the trip to the theater? Just wait until it’s on Netflix?

  2. Old people senility mixed with comedy. Having dealing with that lately myself it might be a comedic relief to me of the reality of it all. (Which can sometimes so ludicrous that it happens over and over. Don’t ask about the fifth set of lost hearing aids, or the third wallet lost, or twice now the car has been driven through the back of the garage into the house (smashing two BBQ grills now) when they were thinking it was the brake instead of the gas. OY). Thank you for the review. Maybe this movie will make me feel better that it’s not that bad with my reality, lol.

    • My thoughts are with you on your journey with your loved one. I totally understand since my journey was close to 10 years and it was not easy. For a distraction this film may be the ticket for you. Of course if you do see it I would like to hear your views. And if you understand this, L’Shana Tova to you and your family. If not, best wishes to you and your family.

  3. I watched this movie last night so thought I would come back and remind myself of your views on it. I wanted to do so because I had a very mixed response to it. It is interesting to me to note that you stated the way the comedy and horror elements cancelled themselves out as I felt the same way. I think had he made it more fully comedic or more fully horrific it would have been a more successful movie. By trying to balance the two, it fell a bit short in both regards and became much more mediocre than might have otherwise been the case. The performances were all solid – and I was particularly impressed by the grandparents – but I found the found footage format tiresome.

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