If you’re one of the few people out there who stills likes M. Night Shyamalan’s movies, you may not want to read this review of The Visit. If you hate them or are hoping to see him make good stuff again, I suggest you take some time to see what I have to say about it. By doing so, not only may I save you some heartache, I might also be able to convince you to keep your money in your pocket.
In The Visit, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan crafts a story around a brother (Ed Oxenbould) and sister (Olivia DeJonge) who are sent off to have a weeklong stay in Pennsylvania with the grandparents they’ve never met before. This starts out as a fantastic journey for them, but it eventually begins to transform into something that no one could have anticipated once they start to suspect that their grandparents aren’t what they seem.
To be honest from the very start, I’ll say that The Visit is flat-out boring all the way through. You’re waiting for something to happen that could potentially grab you and pull you in, but Shyamalan’s either has no desire to do it or he’s simply unable to do so. In any cinematic venture, you need to find ways to make thing worth while. One would think that someone with as much experience as he would know that already, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
One obvious way of accomplishing this would be to create tension or suspense that builds over the duration of your film. Instead of using that simple and familiar part of film, we’re offered a plot and story that never really moves until we finally get to the end. Up until that point, all we get is the older characters doing strange stuff and the kids not being able to figure out what’s going on. Other than that, it’s just the kids filming a documentary and picking on each other. That’s literally it.
The Visit is a poorly structured movie that doesn’t have any positive qualities. A part of me hopes that this is something that Shyamalan just put together without much thought or effort. If that were the case, it would mean that he was being lazy, but at least it would give him an excuse and allow me to believe that he could potentially come back from this career long slump. If he put this out there after making an attempt to turn this into a movie that actually had value, we might as well give up hope on his future projects already.
I have a difficult time understanding why studios continue to keep paying him to make movies. I have no issue with people getting paid, but there are filmmakers out there who would love to get the opportunities that he seems to get handed to him. At one point, he actually made a couple of films that many enjoyed (The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable), but both of those were released ages ago. Is it possible for him to continue to ride on the waves that he created when I was a kid?
If one of the many studios out there decides to give him another chance to make more movies, I hope that M. Night Shyamalan can figure it out some how and make something that people will be able to love and support. For a guy who showed such potential early in his career to swing and miss as much as he has since then sucks. If and when he does reclaim his former glory, count me in as one of the people who will be rejoicing. Until then, I’ll expect stuff like The Visit to continue to be pushed out for us.
When you look at me, you’re looking about a disappointed guy in terms of this movie. I didn’t head into this with high hopes, but I went in with an open mind. I guess that and the fact that Shyamalan doesn’t even try to make this interesting is why I’m so disappointed. At this point, I’m not even looking for a good movie from him. I’m merely looking for something that would show me that he still has some kind of potential somewhere in his cinematic bones.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Film Length: 94 minutes
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Distributor: Universal Pictures