The Visit (2015)

directed by m. night shyamalan
blinding edge pictures/blumhouse productions

I can’t judge a movie based on the marketplace opinion of its creator, especially when I’ve only seen one of his other movies (The Sixth Sense), so all I can say about The Visit is what I thought: It works. Quite well, in fact. Granted, the setup of the story is a bit questionable, and as that’s the only reason the developments that follow make any sense whatsoever, it invites a quibble. The SHOCKING twist is very effective, however, and the children are extremely believable in their performances, and the moments where it might be reasonable to entertain serious doubts about the enterprise are explained away with just the right dubious touch. True, it lacks for visceral thrills and seems more of a mild mystery for the bulk of its running time – when it doesn’t play like an out-and-out comedy, that is. Perhaps that abets the impact of the final punchline. Fun for the whole family!

why did i watch this movie?

I actually had little intention of watching this picture, as I couldn’t get a handle on it from cursory glances at its press, but at a certain point I needed something to play so voilà.

should you watch this movie?

I don’t know. Unsettling moments involving the grandparents might seem more troubling to some viewers than ordinary, everyday slasher-type frights. One’s tolerance of younger teenagers may also be a factor in the decision.

highlight and low point

The portrayal of people who are essentially strangers trying to bond over purported family ties is illustrated nicely, and again, the young actors do a very credible job. How tasteful some details are will be a matter of opinion, and the coda seems insufficiently informative.

rating from outer space: B+

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