Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
M. Night Shyamalan is a household name for a reason, he makes good movies. Not for everyone always, but for all of us every so often. His latest project, The Visit, is certain to excite fans of all kinds.
Like all of his movies, The Visit comes equipped with an interesting script. The story begins with a mother (Kathryn Hahn) sending her two children to her parent’s house. She hasn’t seen her parents since she ran out on them as a teenager. The kids, Becca and Tyler, hope to heal this rift by documenting their experience of visiting Nana and Pop Pop for the first time.
Becca (Olivia DeJonge) establishes herself as the director, making Tyler her comedic companion. The two are welcome guides. As they step off their train Nana & Pop Pop offer the kids a warm welcome, but they’re quickly revealed as odd. Not the funny kind either, but the crazy kind. Horror ensues from the first night. There, outside the children’s bedroom, stands Nana scratching at the door. It’s spooky. Terror is something Shyamalan does well. He also flexes his comedic muscles throughout the Film, especially through actor Ed Oxenbould who plays twelve year old Tyler (aka T. Diamond Stylus). Many may wonder how comedy and horror go together, but recollections of Chucky and Ash should remind you of how well the coupling works. The difference here is in the aesthetic. This is a Blumhouse Production, so it’s visualized through handycams and isn’t as fantastical. Nevertheless, it is unsettling. Nana and Pop Pop are not the people you want to share a week with. They have secrets that could drive you mad… Becca is driven there, Tyler too. After all the duo have an absentee father, so like they’re mother they’re already broken.
There’s a lot of substance and scares in its 90 minutes. The perfect date night Movie for those looking to fit in a little fun after dinner. For genre junkies, this is also one worth watching. After all, this is Shyamalan storytelling on a Blum budget. It’s red, white, and creative all over. Another one worth the cost of admission, and it’s in theatres now via Universal Pictures Canada.
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