The Story: Two kids spend a week with their estranged grandparents. Weirdness runs in the family.
Expectations: M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed this movie. I feel like I have to ignore that, because Shyamalan movies come with either ridiculously high or ridiculously low expectations these days. Personally, I still get enthusiastic when I see his name above the title—because I genuinely like THE SIXTH SENSE, UNBREAKABLE, SIGNS, DEVIL and even (to some degree) THE HAPPENING. On the other hand, I was disappointed by THE VILLAGE, LADY IN THE WATER, and AFTER EARTH.
But THE VISIT is also a Blumhouse release—and they’ve had a pretty good track record lately (see THE GIFT, HUSH, and CREEP).
Reaction: Patrick Bromley, over at F This Movie!, has been running his own annual Scary Movie Challenge, prompting listeners to write and post 7-word reviews for every film they watch in the month of October. I have not been participating very much, because I can’t write 7-word reviews. I’m just not clever enough. But a 7-word review inadvertently popped into my head while I was watching this movie:
“Old people are scary. Especially when naked.”
Conveniently, this review also sums up THE SENTINEL (1977).
What else can I say about THE VISIT? I found it alternately unsettling and obnoxious (which I supposed is inevitable for any film that combines found footage and 12-year-old whiteboy rapping). Thankfully, toward the end, the film gets more unnerving and less obnoxious. I love the scene where grandma introduces the phrase “the deep darkies.” The vague weirdness of that phrase is emblematic of the film as a whole. What exactly is the threat? I’m not going to spoil it… but I will say that the film remains unnerving even once you’ve figured out Shyamalan's “twist” ending.
Most Nightmare-Worthy Moment: Grandma's oven.