Review: The Visit
Since his breakout 1999 film The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan has gained a bit of a reputation for making nutty, off the wall films. Between the killer trees of The Happening and the weird porcupine monsters in The Village, he has definitely entered into pure absurdity. With his latest film The Visit, Shyamalan takes the horror into the family home.
Becca and Tyler (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould) have never met their grandparents. Before their birth, their mother (Kathryn Hahn) left her home due to her parents disapproval of her then boyfriend. Now, almost two decades later, Nana and Pop Pop (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie) want to meet their grandchildren. A trip is arranged, with Becca and Tyler heading off to stay with their grandparents for a week. At first glance, Nana and Pop Pop are quite pleasant. They are a quiet couple who love a rather simple life. The only thing they as of their grandchildren during their stay is that they do not leave their room after 9:30PM. Of course, Becca and Tyler do not follow this rule. Chaos ensues.
The talent involved is really excellent. Dunagan steals the show as the adorably deranged Nana. It tough to decide whether to love her or to be absolutely terrified of her. Nevertheless, she is a pleasure to behold. It would be incorrect to say that The Visit is a return to form for Shyamalan, as it is unlike any film he has made before. That being said, The Visit is surely his best film in years. Shyamalan knows that his subject matter is rather ridiculous, so he uses that to bring out some comedy in his story. Thus, The Visit masterfully blends laugh-out-loud absurdity with a great atmosphere and jump scares, making it an extremely successful horror comedy.