DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE VISIT (director/writer: M. Night Shyamalan; cinematographer: Maryse Alberti; editor: Luke Ciarrocchi; music:  ; cast: Olivia DeJonge (Becca), Ed Oxenbould (Tyler), Deanna Dunagan (Nana), Peter McRobbie (Pop Pop), Kathryn Hahn (Mom) ; Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: M. Night Shyamalan/Jason Blum/Marc Bienstock; Universal; 2015)

"The nerve wracking film got under my skin without being entertaining."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense"/"After Earth"/"Signs") writes and directs a low-budget found footage comical horror pic, with a twist and plenty of cheap thrills. It's a riff on the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. After Shyamalan's promising start as a filmmaker in his following films he has not lived up to those high expectations. Though this little pic is not particularly good, it's much better than his recent bombs. Here he mixes black comedy with chills, and comes up with a decent premise. My problem is that even if his film-making talents are apparent here and he shows a gift for handling child actors, the nerve wracking film still got under my skin without being entertaining.

Teenage digital camera filmmaker Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her rapper younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) accept an invite from the maternal grand-parents they never met, Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie), to stay a week in the winter in their secluded Pennsylvania farm. Their distracted single mom (Kathryn Hahn) doesn't approve. We see her on video to open the film telling us that she has been over-ruled by her precocious adventure-seeking kids. Mom thereby tells us she left home at 19 and the thirtysomething has not seen her parents since.

Things seem normal until the grand-parents go ultra creepy at night and we learn they have dark secrets that might not be as amusing as they first seem. Granny does a naked act and grandpa gets weird over adult diapers. From then on don't be shocked about anything in The Visit.

REVIEWED ON 9/19/2015       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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