Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Visit (2015)

The Visit is a M. Night Shyamalan film presented in the found film style. It is shown as a documentary of two kids visit to their grandparents house as they meet them for the first time. The main focal point of the film however is the mother and how sad the daughter perceives her as being. The mother had a big fight with her parents over a man, left the house and never saw them again. This was before the kids were born, which explains why they don't know the grandparents. The grandparents reach out online and ask to see the kids for a week as they want to be part of their life. The daughter who is 15 decides to make the documentary as a way of hopefully recording the Grandparents telling her what happened in that fight, and getting a apology so the mother can finally move on and be happy. Also it is apparently supposed to be a horror film, though nobody seemed to remember that while making it.

When you hear M. Night Shyamalan you groan and go, but that preview looked so promising. Remember The Village? That movie looked decent, it started decent, then "The Twist" happened and it turned became awful. Remember Wayward Pines? No you don't, you didn't finish that show either? Devil was okay though right......maybe. Shyamalan is known for making a few decent films very early on, then turning out neat concepts that fail to deliver for the next 10 to 15 years. He tends to throw a "Twist" into his films to, something that takes you by surprise and changes how the films story works. Easy example would be one of his older films, the Village. A movie that took place in a older time before technology. It was a take on the big bad wolf. A girl was trying to leave her village but was being stalked by a wolf. Turns out the wolf was simply trying to keep her in the area so she didn't discover the twist! She really lived in modern time, oh my god so amazing! It was stupid as was the rest of the movie.

So we have two kids visiting Nana and Pop Pop for the first time. They spend a week in the house recording everything for their documentary. During the day, they seem like normal old people, but at night Nana gets weird. It starts setting up for the horror moments, but it never really delivers on them. Yes the old people act weirder and weirder as it goes on, but they never do anything really scary. Also you never really feel like anybody is in danger until the final 10 or so minutes of the film. We get a stronger focus on the story between the mother and the grandparents, and the spooky stuff takes the back seat. The film tries so hard to keep you interested as you wait for "The Twist", but it just fails to. It gives little clues, and you keep watching because you paid for it so why not I guess. Then finally the twist starts to appear, and it looks like it may be a doozey. Shymalan starts giving out some heavy handed clues and your brain goes into overdrive trying to think up the craziest thing it could be. This is a guy who did a movie about plants and bees somehow psychically forcing people to commit suicide....actually I didn't finish that one, that is just what I was told happened. So when "The Twist" finally does come and all the build up amounted to pretty much nothing, the movie lost any good it had going for it.

Everything building to the final scenes was for nothing. You sit there bored out of your mind hoping for something magical. What you get was just plain and boring, combined with a very lackluster finish and you get a film that never really manages to accomplish much. It is never scary, never really enjoyable, and you have to sit through a 13 year old rapping over and over again. The only thing the movie really had going for it was occasional humor. The Son decides at one point to shout out female pop singer names instead of cursing. He only did it a few times, but it always made me laugh for some reason. Sadly that was the only enjoyment I got out of the film.

Also the trailer needs to be addressed. Watch the Trailer, and you have now seen pretty much the entire movie. It shows all the "scares" and even sort of gives away part of "The Twist." when you can fit the parts of your movie that are supposed to be the main reason for seeing it, into a single video under 3 minutes, you have a problem.

If you want some found footage horror, give the new Paranormal Activity a try. It is not what I would call overly scary, but it was fun and far better then this. Unfriended would be another one similar in style. It is told completely from the computer screen of a teenage girl who is chatting with all her friends as they start to die. A really unique and new approach to the found footage stuff.

Skip this, don't rent it. Don't watch it at a friends house, just pretend it never existed.

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