Films · Reviews

The Visit: When Horror Movies are so Bad they’re Good

The Visit (2015), directed by M. Night Shyamalan, was just one of those horror films that was so strangely done, it was fantastic. The film is shot through the cinematic eyes of Becca and Tyler, who go to visit their estranged Grandparents. Becca is shooting a documentary to try and bring closure for her mother after an incident happened between her mother, and her grandparents years ago. Once there they are greeted by warm grandparents and everything seems fine, except the one rule, don’t leave your room after 9:30pm.

The film is mainly shot through a camera ‘held’ by Becca with her voice over commentary. At first I didn’t really enjoy this. Becca is the typical know it all ,except at 15 she’s lost all the sweetness associated with thinking she’s a genius, and rather is just left with being obnoxious. I found her particularly condescending to her younger brother Tyler, who by the end of the film, I thought was some kind of genius. Ultimately, having the film ‘videoed’ by the two young characters worked to it’s advantage. We not only learnt more about the character’s personalities, but also had a stronger emotional connection to them. We laughed with them, yelled at them and feared for them.

The-visit

The progression of the film is done well, we’re introduced to Becca and Tyler, along with their mother. We gain insight into their family life and the troubles they face. This is probably one of the horror films with the most character development and backstory, the film touches on the insecurities of both children. This film is not only a film about facing monsters, but also your inner demons. I have to applaud all the actors in this film, the grandparents played by  Peter McRobbie and Deanna Dunagan were an unsettling presence on screen. Olivia DeJonge, who played Becca, eventually developed into a much more sympathetic character. However, the real star of this film was Tyler, played by Ed Oxenbould. He was beyond hilarious and truly made the film. His little sassy comments, combined with his quirky personality added a much needed dimension to the film. To quote a woman sitting behind me “what a legend”.

I believe the other people in the cinema can strongly influence how much you enjoy a film. I remember as a child watching a comedy film in the cinema and being the only one laughing, and felt like a right idiot afterwards. Particularly with horror films I hate silent cinemas, I like people screaming, laughing or yelling at the screen – it just adds to the experience, and that’s exactly what I got with this film.

Overall a 7.5/10  go into it with an open mind and don’t take it too seriously and then you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

For people who are concerned with how scary it is I’d give it a 1/5 where 0 is a Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode and 5 is a Japanese Horror film. So it’s not too scary, just has one or two jump scares.

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