‘The Visit’ review: M. Night Shyamalan re-visits his glory


The Visit was released in theaters September 11. The main actors are Olivia Delonge and Ed Oxenbould.

Socrates Kanetakis, Podcast Editor

Following a long series of misfires, failures and cinematic abominations, I experienced a suspicious and inquisitive  feeling after watching the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming movie. Despite my very low expectations, ‘The Visit’ managed to flat-out amaze me.

In the ultra-low budget comedy-horror flick, a brother and a sister visit their alienated grandparents for the first time . Unfortunately for them, Papa and Grandma are not all about cookies and Yahtzee.

Starting off with some technical aspects, ‘The Visit’ is filmed in a “found footage” style. This favors natural acting, so actors feel more like everyday people and less like entertainers on a payroll.  This style also gives the story a felling of suspense. For a production filmed on two Canon cameras and a budget of $5,000,000, the film is beautifully directed and within its simplicity, lies its success.

Absent elements like a creepy soundtrack or fancy CGI enhance The Visit’s realistic look and increases its believability. Additionally, as its set in rural Pennsylvania, the nature provides a little escape from the elements of psychological fright. However, this does not necessarily mean that the forest’s nature is entirely pure and beautiful…(hint, hint).

The factor which make Shyamalan’s film fantastic is the mixture of comedy and horror. Comedic elements are almost bound to be absent from a horror movie (Scary movie saga exempted), but in ‘The Visit’ they are vivid, elaborate and most importantly: pure and not forced. The amount of times you have really laughed from your grandparent’s jokes (it’s not bad to pretend… they probably already know) might be few or none, but hell, you are in for a real blueberry-muffin treat here.

The horror elements are not based on jump-scares and the cliché scenes of “Why would you even go to the basement?” On the contrary, they are explained and justified in very plain reasoning: the protagonists are kids. Yes they are curious, yes they are gullible but hey, they are more believable than teenagers recording their deaths on Skype.

Acting-wise, the cast gets a B+. There is no major emotional scene or award-worthy performance (asides from the little guys’ flaming freestyle) but the casting of non A-list actors makes their characters more believable and identifiable. This can also be due to the reluctance of any famous actor to ever play in a Shyamalan movie again…until now.

All in all, ‘The Visit’ proves itself to be one of the few good and original horror movies we get every three years. Its masterful directing and storytelling establish it as a solid choice for both horror and comedy lovers.


Final Verdict: 8.5/10

Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including terror, violence and some nudity, and for brief language