"Will You Get Inside the Oven to Clean It?"
Shyamalan’s done something with “The Visit” that nobody bothers to do much anymore. As carefully as he can, as seriously as he can, he tells a simple, well-made story. In that respect, “The Visit” is one of the best films I’ve seen from him in years.
Above all, what I love about this film is something that is different from the rest of Shyamalan’s ouvre: there are no fantasy elements. Oh there’s a twist, you know how he loves his twists, but it’s so simple and instant, on the same level of “Bruce Willis has been dead the whole time”, in that it changes nothing about the world, but instead how the audience perceives it. But the true horror of “The Visit” comes from its firm grasp on reality, its understanding of real-life horror. The events of “The Visit” are not far-fetched, and because I was so invested in the characters, I was left on the edge of my seat.
Shyamalan probably made this film in order to prove his chops as a filmmaker. I would say that he’s proven he can direct a high-budget film again, except that all his high budget features in recent memory lack the grace, the tension and the craft that this film does. Maybe he’s just not meant to be making blockbusters. Maybe he was supposed to be doing these small, intimate indie features all along. “The Visit” is not a movie that will change anybody’s life, it doesn’t break any boundaries, and its silliness might turn some people off, but goddamn it it’s entertaining, and well told. Like what a Stephen King novel feels like.
If I were Shyamalan, I would churn out one of these every year and live modestly for the rest of my days. This is far more compelling than “Lady in the Water” ever could have been.
Spiked cocoa, or hot toddies. Something to make you feel cozy and warm.
-Drink whenever Tyler name-drops a celebrity
-Drink whenever Becca talks about filmmaking
-Drink when a grandparent does something decidedly strange
-Drink when the kids talk about their mom or their dad
-Drink when you see something disgusting
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). "The Visit" was produced by Blinding Edge Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film is rated "PG-13" with a runtime of 94 minutes.
Special thanks to my patrons Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Caroline Kittredge Faustine and Antonia Beck. Your support helped make this article happen!