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Tyler

The Visit (Shyamalan)

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Deadline:

 

 

Universal Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to The Visit, a low-budget film that M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed in covert fashion, in partnership with Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum. The studio has set the film for release September 11, 2015. I’d heard rumors here and there that Shyamalan might have a project he was shooting underground, one that was closer to the spirit of his first few films than the big studio efforts that followed...

 

The Visit focuses on a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day.

 

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it's a lot of fun. The kid performances are both quite good, and the grandparents do a good job of keeping you guessing about what's really going on. The tone jumps around a lot (there are several pretty funny scenes, which I never expected from Shyamalan), but I thought it all works and stays convincing. The plot strains credulity by the end, but it also has some surprisingly resonant emotional moments. It reminded me a lot of the ending for

 

Signs, because the kids have to overcome the specific issues they established earlier in the movie; looking at herself in the mirror for Becca, not freezing up at the big moment for Tyler.
Edited by Tyler

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I really liked it until the end, which I at first found a little underwhelming.  But then after further reflection of the movie as a whole I've come to warm up a little more towards the end.  The plot does strain credulity a bit, but I also thought that the grandparents were terrific and the film did a good job of not only keeping us guessing but also of making them strange and fascinating characters.

 

 

Edited by Attica

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Shyamalan is on to something here. He's touching primal emotions about the terrors of growing old; a fear of the elderly and also a fear of being elderly that's definitely exploitative but also weirdly true. If he had dialed up the compassion a little more, he could have ended up with a near masterpiece on the order of Larry Yust's Homebodies. But the crudeness of the genre he's working in demands a more vulgar denouement. It's still pretty enjoyable, probably the best horror flick since It Follows.

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Spoiler Alert (because I can't find a spoiler tab)

 

A compassion for the ederly folks, even from the children, would have been a nice touch and not unheard of in a horror film.  That kind of thing has been done and it has worked spectacularily.  I'm not sure how it could have been fit into this story to any significant degree until after they leave the grandparents home.  It might have too easily given away that they were real people at a time when we were left wondering what was really going on with them.  Maybe it could have been done through a look at what happened with the two elderly people before and during their time in the hospital.   Or there was that one bit of dialogue when there reasons were slightly explained that the compassion might have been amped up, but at that time the kids were too filled with fear and the need to survive to do anything with it.  There were already a few moments when their actions didn't quite fit... for example.. looking in the mirror during the bedroom scene at the end.

Overall though, my opinion of the film has increased since I first saw it.  It masterfully pulled off the idea of the "inevitable surprise."  When I think back on it there were so many moments that would fit in perfectly well with the ending, but I had never figured out the twist.  I was expecting some weird hybrid body snatcher, possession type theme but with it's own special and unique take on it.  Something that would have been so weird, fresh and imaginative that I was blown away.  So I felt a little let down by the simplicity of it all.

But over time I've grown to appreciate how well it worked and how well the story was constructed to keep me from seeing what should have been the obvious in so many ways, considering the hints that were provided.

There was also the little tidbit right near the start when they were talking about documentary filmmaking and the truth being just outside of the frame, or around the edges or something like that, I can't quite remember.  I thought that was also an interesting little addition.

 

Oh.  When I think about it I have grown in appreciation of the two elderly actors and how they were handled.  They were completely weird and effin nuts.  Fantastic characters.  This film worked great at the time but then continues to grow on me

 

It was a good flick and I would think that Shyamalan has at least somewhat redeemed himself.

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Now that Shyamalan has been supplanted by a new generation of horrorists, he's looking ever the classicist. There's even something quaint and old fashioned about the very idea of a "surprise ending." But he's usually adept at building atmosphere and maintaining pressure, and that's all you can reasonably ask for from a B-movie.

In a way, he's never fully recovered from the success of his overrated breakout feature, The Sixth Sense. With Devil and now this, modesty has been his strong suit.

Edited by Nathaniel

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Overall though, my opinion of the film has increased since I first saw it.  It masterfully pulled off the idea of the "inevitable surprise."  When I think back on it there were so many moments that would fit in perfectly well with the ending, but I had never figured out the twist.  I was expecting some weird hybrid body snatcher, possession type theme but with it's own special and unique take on it.  Something that would have been so weird, fresh and imaginative that I was blown away.  So I felt a little let down by the simplicity of it all.

But over time I've grown to appreciate how well it worked and how well the story was constructed to keep me from seeing what should have been the obvious in so many ways, considering the hints that were provided.

 

Interestingly, this almost sounds like a review of The Sixth Sense!

I saw The Visit this morning and really liked it. The kid was hilarious and yet somehow never went over the top. I was surprised when I was supposed to be surprised. And Shyamalan hasn't lost his knack for making rural Pennsylvanian things like wood piles and mud seem oppressive and scary.

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