The Visit is now showing at the Garden City Cinema in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
I’ve been looking forward to seeing The Visit for some time. He has his detractors but for the most part I enjoy M. Night Shyamalan films, The Lady in the Water, Signs and The Village being some of his best work.
The Visit is Shyamalan’s first horror film and is almost a found footage film as it’s all shot from the perspective of Becca, a 15 year old who’s a budding filmmaker. Don’t worry this isn’t a shaky cam experience, Becca works like a professional when it comes to the camera.
Becca and her younger brother Tyler are the children of single mother Loretta, who hasn’t spoken to her parents in 15 years following an argument concerning Loretta’s older boyfriend.
Thanks to the internet the grandparents reached out to her and now, even though she doesn’t want her kids to go, they are insistent about meeting their grandparents. So they’re off to stay at their farm for a week without their mother.
All goes well for the first day, Nana and Pop Pop are friendly and keen to get to know their grandchildren but that night strange things start happening. Nana and Pop Pop go to bed at 9:30pm but later the kids hear things that go bump in the night.
The film uses fear of the elderly to play with your expectations. Tyler is convinced something is seriously wrong with Nana but Becca is aware of alzheimer’s and the like, so she explains away Nana’s creepy nighttime proclivities as just a symptom of old age.
The Visit does a great job of building the tension as the kids learn more about their grandparents and there are some good jump scares that caught the audience I was in off guard, which is always fun.
Becca is intelligent and thoughful, Tyler is a cute kid who has a talent for rapping and both carry emotional scars from their father leaving them. They’re not bratty or obnoxious, they’re likeable which is a nice change. Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxonbould are brilliant as the two main leads, they both bring a sense of balance to the film.
Of course there are some typical Shyamalan touches in the film but overall his somewhat gimmicky touches are few and far between. This is all about the creep factor.
I really enjoyed The Visit, it’s good fun, with some good scares and some laughs.
You can book tickets to see The Visit at the Garden City Cinema here.