Film Review: M. Night Shyamalan Offers Chills, Laughs in ‘The Visit’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Director and auteur M. Night Shyamalan has been very spotty in the last nine years. “The Sixth Sense” filmmaker has had less of an impact with “After Earth” and “The Last Airbender,” but scores again with the super weird, creepy and funny “The Visit.” Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Shyamalan has discovered the “found footage” genre (the movie is filmed by the characters) in a satirical way – two teens chronicle their visit for the first time to their grandparents– and does it his way, with crisp cinematography and flipped out images of dread and humor that both freezes and engages the soul. It’s funny to the point of stupidity – and it survives a tremendously unnecessary epilogue. I think M. Night has found a new niche, and will panic less about his reputation and begin to deliver more on his unrealized potential, based on his earlier works. And, with a tremendous boost right out the box in early September, “The Visit” might eventually be the Halloween Dream of 2015.

Olivia (Rebecca Jamison) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are sister and brother teenagers visiting their grandparents for the first time. Their mother Paula (Kathryn Hahn) had been estranged from her parents since becoming pregnant at 19 years old, and being thrown out of the house. Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) enthusiastically welcome their grandkids for a week at their isolated Pennsylvania farm.

Strange things begin to occur as the visit commences. Nana has a tendency to roam the house after lights-out at 9:30pm (“Just stay in your room,” the kids are advised). Pop Pop has his own quirks, including a medical condition that becomes threatening. Mother Paula, in the meantime, is on a cruise, enjoying her first vacation in years. What could go wrong?

”The Visit” is in theaters everywhere. Featuring Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie and Kathryn Hahn. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Visit”

Deanna Dunagan
Nana (Deanna Dunagan) Sits for an Interview in ‘The Visit’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Visit”

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