The Visit (2015) – Review

When two children first meet and consequently spend an entire week at their grandparents’ house, things begin to become complicated as the youngsters start unearthing worrying signs and dark secrets about their relatives. Becca (Olivia DeJonge) is the older of the two children and with help from her brother, Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), she decides to use this trip as an opportunity to film a documentary, but the budding filmmaker bit off slightly more than she could chew. An unexpectedly scary and extremely dark movie that does no shame on the horror genre at all despite many of the critics it’s received.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writers: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie

Having originally found The Visit under the comedy category on Netflix, it’s fair to say that what eventually transpired surprised me massively. Immediately you realised something wasn’t quite right after the introduction of the two grandparents – the pair seemed extremely off from the start after they instruct the children that there are strict rules when living in their house. This, along with some generally strange behaviour, was more than enough to set alarm bells off for any viewer.

As far as horror movies go, there’s not been many that have made me jump out of my skin quite as well as this one did. There was two of three genuinely standout moments that had you wanting to look away but keep watching at the same time. A real strength of the flick and the filmmakers deserve credit for some of the moments of horror. Rather interestingly, this movie also makes you realise that not all flicks of this genre need to be flooded with characters wearing masks or deformities.

It’s worth noting that the filmmakers actually shot the flick in such a way that it was more of a documentary than a feature film. As mentioned, one of the children, Becca, was an aspiring filmmaker and she saw this is a good opportunity to make her own material with lots of hand held footage and brief interviews. With that being said however, there were instances where the camera was set in a more traditional manner and ready to capture some of the horror that emerged – meaning you as a viewer didn’t always have the seasick vibe that many films of this kind bring to the table.

In regard to the movie from a storyline point of view, don’t head into The Visit expecting too much. Very little actually happened but it was more about the experiences of the children within the confines of the house rather than the complexity of the plot. With that being said however, like many horror films, there was an effective twist towards the end but unfortunately that only led to plot holes and some rather silly decision making from the characters involved. A bit of a disappointment in truth.

In terms of the stars, the two children were great in the roles they were given. Both were mature beyond their years and along with the genuine moments of horror, there was one or two genuine moments of comedy in there too. The pair had effective but more importantly believable chemistry. The grandparents also adopted their roles well too – with Deanna Dunagan playing the Grandma and Peter McRobbie portraying Grandpa.

Overall, a really good horror movie with a little bit of comedy thrown in, so if you’re a fan of the genre, you should definitely give it a go. This film is available on Netflix.

“Would you mind getting inside the oven to clean it?”

Grandma – The Visit

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