Film
Don’t pay a visit to ‘The Visit’

Lydia Berg

L. Berg

If you’re not a fan of cheap scares and weird grandparents, you might want to cancel your trip to see “The Visit.”

Renowned director M. Night Shyamalan disappoints with a movie chock-full of predictable jump scares and anti-climactic suspense scenes. Unfortunately, the film couldn’t seem to get past the “creepy” stage, which is not the goal for a horror movie. In fact, quite a few of the scenes that were meant to be scary were actually laughable. Not to mention the cheesy attempt at a life lesson being tacked onto the very end of the movie. The plot, however, did have some potential.

Fifteen-year-old Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and 13-year-old Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) have never met their grandparents. Their single mom, Paula (Kathryn Hahn), left when she was 19 years old and hasn’t spoken to them since. So when Paula’s parents contact her asking to meet their grandchildren, it comes as a surprise to them all. Paula is not so enthused by the idea, but the kids are eager to meet their estranged grandparents.

They convince their mom to use this as an excuse to go on a cruise with her new boyfriend while Becca and Tyler spend a week with their Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie). When the kids first arrive at the isolated farmhouse in a small town of Pennsylvania, everything seems perfect.

Their grandparents are seemingly sweet and caring, love to cook delicious treats, and, as Tyler jokes, “don’t even know who One Direction is.” They are warned to never go near the basement because it has mold, which looks to be the only (minor) issue. But on the first night when Becca ventures out of their room past bedtime–9:30 pm, sharp–things start to get weird.

This begs the questions: what will happen? Will the movie live up to the creepy suspense shown in the trailer? What’s wrong with these grandparents? Will Becca and Tyler make it out alive? And what’s in the basement? I won’t spoil the movie for you but I will say the plot twist took me awhile to figure out. I was pleasantly surprised by this and it made the movie much more interesting because I was trying to figure it out the whole time.

I will also commend the excellent casting. I found Tyler and Becca’s characters to be very believable and aged appropriately to boot–a rarity in modern Hollywood. In addition, Nana and Pop Pop’s characters were sufficiently creepy despite the movie’s poor execution.

All in all, I give this movie a rating of two shields out of five. The scares weren’t all that scary, and overall it was more humorous than horrifying, but the plot and cast were able to be its saving grace. So, M. Night Shyamalan, while your return to the world of directing is very welcome, maybe this just wasn’t the right way to start it.

This movie earns a Knight Times rating of …

2 out of 5 Shields

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