Our good friend Tyler Richardson is back with another one of his reviews from Latino-Review and this one is for M. Night Shymalan’s The Visit.
A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.
Where do we begin? I like Unbreakable, I like Lady in the Water (don’t judge me!), and Devil (I know M. Night Shymalan didn’t direct it) but there is a stigma going into The Visit. I try to go into movies without so much as a trailer to be surprised. Unfortunately, while watching HULU Plus, I was forced to see the same trailer for The Visit many times. It was a pretty decent trailer for a horror flick, until they showed who brought the casserole to the party (it’s a metaphor).
It seems as though M. is aware of the popular joke about his twists and decided to do something about it. Normally, he does a good job of drawing us into his plots for the first and second act, then things go sideways when the twist occurs. He did a great job of turning the tables on folks with The Visit. Instead of a good hour followed by 30 minutes of frustration, we get the opposite.
The mother (Kathryn Hahn) did her best at providing a decent dramatic character, but most of the film lies in the hands of children. Not to say children can’t carry a film (Sixth Sense) but these children weren’t up to task. The characters of girl and Tyler were not interesting, and quite boring most of the film. Which is sad, because we see plenty of foreshadowing throughout which should get us excited for what’s to come.
Perhaps it’s hard to make a horror film without having characters make stupid decisions while spouting lines like “I’m going to open the door.” This coming after many threatening sounds are heard coming from the opposite side of said door. Perhaps it’s just easier to have characters continually trip while running from the villain… But, maybe some great horror movies realize that tactic is unnecessary. The kids made this reviewer clutch his face with frustration on several occasions (I’m sorry to use third person you guys).
We have no idea what The Visit is getting at for most of the film. That may not bother some, but drove me crazy. Are we trying to figure out why the father left a wife and kids? What the mother did to upset her parents so much that they might hold a grudge for 15 years? What exactly is going on at the farm the kids are staying at? Or, what we can get into 90 minutes from the film’s start?
I was bored until the third act. I apologize for keeping that such a secret the last five paragraphs. Some of the jump scares were good enough they deserved a response but didn’t get one. If the plot kept my attention, surely a single flinch would have been given. Instead, I pondered things like fantasy football, milk shakes, and bears riding unicycles. Don’t be too cool to act like the latter isn’t something we would all love to see; for free.
The third act is redeeming, as all the cards are on the table. Without spoiling anything, let me give this example:
Monday Morning: Hi!
Monday Night: WTF?!
Tuesday Morning – Thursday Night: Last night was crazy right? You stepped in something. Take your shoes off when you enter my home!
Friday: So, what we brought you here for was…
What caught my attention?
Tyler’s cursing goes from a corny joke, to a very good callback by the climax.
Tyler’s freestyles had a lot of people laughing. I find nothing amusing about a sucka emcee. “Swerve.”
No need to sit through the credits, it doesn’t get better.
Honestly, I loved the last 25 minutes of The Visit. There is no reason to hold off on letting everyone in on what’s happening. If it was half mystery, and half what the movie becomes, respect would be easier to admit. After reading several reviews on my way out of the theater, not everyone agreed with my disappointment. See it, and after you have been down that road, let everyone know how it treated you. In the comments though, don’t scream to the world on the streets; that’s for crazies.
You can find Tyler making people laugh in New York City and check him out on Twitter @Ty1erRichardon