Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Visit – Be Mindful of Your Grandparents

Runtime: 94 minutes
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Rating: PG-13
Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Mom is, as the name implies, the mother of two young kids. Tyler is a wannabe rapper, and Becca wants to make movies. Years ago, Mom had a falling out with her own parents after deciding to run away from home to be with her boyfriend. After having two kids, he left her, and her parents reached out. Mom now wants to send her kids to stay with Nana and Pop Pop for a week, which Becca thinks will make an excellent movie. That's the setup for why she spends the whole movie filming things.

Nana and Pop Pop seem perfectly normal, at first. They talk about the volunteer work they do at the local hospital, watch them play around on their farm, and make them lots of food. Pop Pop warns them that bedtime is early every night and that they should never go downstairs after bedtime passes. Tyler later notices him hiding something in a small shed outside, which just turns out to be the diapers he has to wear. Their grandmother later scares the poop out of them (and me) by showing up as they play hide and seek under the house. More strange things begin happening, including Nana taking off her clothes and slamming her head against the wall or running through the house like a bear, leaving them to wonder exactly what is going on.

Let me get this out in the open right now: I really, really, really liked The Visit. I would say it's probably Shyamalan's best movie since The Sixth Sense. It shocked me when I saw the bad reviews it got and all the complaints people made about it. The Visit had his trademark horror and comedy combination. It left me laughing one second and shifting uncomfortably in my seat the next. Though I haven't seen many horror films in the theater this year, this is one that I'm glad I did see.

The actors playing Becca and Tyler annoyed the shit out of me, but I get the feeling that we're supposed to feel that way about them. Becca is incredibly pretentious and acts like she's the next Academy Award winning director, while Tyler's rapping is so bad that we actually groaned and wanted to throw stuff at the screen. Disliking those characters though actually adds to the movie. You get so distracted in disliking them that you completely forget that there is a twist coming. And let me tell you, I did not figure out that twist before it came. The movie was so engaging that I actually kind of forgot that there would be a twist.

The scenes with the grandmother are still as fresh in my mind as if I just watched the movie an hour ago. You definitely won't forget seeing an older woman's naked ass as she goes running through the house in the dead of the night. When Pop Pop finally took the time to explain to the kids what's wrong with her, which took a little too long, you just nod your head and figure that's the twist or at least why she acts so weird. Once the reveal finally did happen, I wanted to hit my head on the wall for not picking up on it soon.

I highly recommend The Visit, despite what some other reviewers say. Not only did I see it in theaters, I look forward to seeing it again to identify any lead up to the twist that I might have missed.

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