M. Night Shyamalan is a overstaying his welcome in Hollywood. In a last ditch effort to save his dwindling career, he can't even get back to making what worked for him in the past"”a simple yet effective horror film. For that I say goodnight M. Night. It's time to let the professional filmmakers take their turns. Shyamalan's latest film, simply titled The Visit, teeters between comedy and horror, and that it makes for an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. The film fails to scare and suffers from horrible pacing, hell even the geriatric actors were moving faster than the storyline.
The Visit is about a broken family, led by a single mother (Kathryn Hahn) and her two children, Becca, an aspiring filmmaker (Olivia DeJonge), and Tyler, the next Vanilla Ice (Ed Oxenbould), who are dying to visit their estranged grandparents, played wonderfully by Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie. The timing of the kids visit couldn't be better for the fact that mom is starting to date again. So typical.
The film takes the worst parts of The Ring and Paranormal Activity and tries to wow the audience with these recycled dull antics. It's just not scary"¦
The dialogue sticks out as the weakest link of the film. Some of the conversations are so cringe worthy that I'd rather rip the nails off my toes. Between Becca saying cheesy one-liners about the art of filmmaking and her brother trying to do his best at making a mockery out of rap music, I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. The only thing more frightening than their dialogue and acting is that it took away any potential the film had at being scary. Yikes.
There are two standout performances from Nana (Dunagan) and Pop-Pop (McRobbie) that they were the saving grace of the movie. I really commend their efforts as they overshadowed the child actors scene for scene and are genuinely entertaining. And they managed to be spooky, which was the whole point of the film. Imagine that, folks. The only thing that stole their thunder was the lack of pacing from Shyamalan.
The most troubling aspect of The Visit is that it was only an hour and half"¦and there were still pacing issues. That is a sign of a director that doesn't have a clear vision for the film he wants to make, instead he was too concerned about his half-assed attempts at comedic relief. Last I checked he isn't a comedian. Let's leave the jokes up to Amy Schumer, okay?
In short, The Visit is very predictable. Shyamalan has a basic formula for all of his horror films, and this one is no different. There are some laughs, some frights, and a twist. He needs to figure out a new way to entertain audiences at the box office.