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The Visit

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PG-13
2015

The Visit (2015) is a chilling horror film from the esteemed mind of M. Night Shyamalan, the auteur filmmaker who is known for his ability to craft spine-tingling stories peppered with unexpected plot developments. Starring Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, and Peter McRobbie, the film skillfully combines elements of suspense, tension, and at times, a sprinkle of twisted humor to create an engrossing tale steeped in escalating dread.

The film’s story revolves around two siblings, fifteen-year-old Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and thirteen-year-old Tyler (Ed Oxenbould). The talented DeJonge and Oxenbould bring to life the innocence and at times comic relief that creates a grounding balance to the film’s progressively eerie narrative. The children eventually find themselves shipped off by their single mother for a week-long vacation to the scenic Pennsylvania farm of their grandparents. This visit comes with a peculiar blend of trepidation and excitement: Becca, an aspiring filmmaker, sees this as an opportunity to document their time and perhaps seek answers to personal family questions, while the germophobic Tyler views it as a necessity to bonding with kin.

The ageing grandparents are portrayed convincingly by the seasoned actors Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie. Their performances as Nana and Pop Pop are unsettling and nuanced, playing their parts with an intensity that gradually unfurls into full-throttle horror. The initial cordial awkwardness that exists between the elderly couple and the children soon turns a sinister corner, unravelling a string of perplexing conduct that progressively pushes the narrative into an uneasy direction.

As in Shyamalan's other films, The Visit unfolds with a careful, measured pace, engaging viewers with its intimate and claustrophobic direction that hangs heavy with impending doom and mystification. This effect is further amplified by the use of the "found footage" technique, which Becca uses to document the rollercoaster of their stay. The grandparent's house is presented as a character in its own, with the dimly lit corridor, creepy basement, and the desolate outdoors lending to the film’s escalating sense of dread.

Shyamalan effectively uses horror and suspense tropes, reframing them with his unique twist and unpredictable narrative trajectory. The slow-burn tension, punctuated by moments of weirdness that struggle to be rationalized, creates an escalating sense of unease. Yet, what separates The Visit from other typical horror films is its deft implementations of humor, used uniquely to underscore the alarming incidents rather than detract from it. Particularly, Tyler, with his freestyle rapping and wisecracks, provides a wholehearted comic relief that adds to the unique tonality of the movie.

The Visit undercuts the audience expectations from the horror genre by keeping a tight rein on the terror and mystery quotient, simultaneously maintaining harsh doses of weirdness. The undercurrent themes of forgiveness, redemption, and coping with trauma give the storyline a deep emotional resonance. Yet, as is customary in Shyamalan's oeuvre, much of the plot’s underlying darkness is alluded to rather than explicitly elucidated. This subtlety adds to the horrific revelations that punctuate the latter part of the film, heightening the atmospheric suspense.

In terms of its production, the film is a testament to Shyamalan's strong directorial abilities. Every aspect, from the excellent performance of the actors to the ominous cinematography and strategic editing, works in symphony, building a thoroughly captivating mystery that grabs the viewer’s attention right from the start and keeps them guessing until the very end.

In conclusion, The Visit is a well-crafted piece of horror narrative that showcases M. Night Shyamalan's adeptness at creating a tale packed with suspense, terror, and unexpected narrative turns. At the same time, it doesn't shy away from providing comic interludes that add a fresh interpretation to the classic genre. It is an engaging film that is supplemented by the impressive performances of its lead actors, offering viewers a nightmarish journey to the enigmatic world behind the grandparents' Pennsylvania farm with all its ensuing terror.

The Visit is a Horror, Mystery, Thriller movie released in 2015. It has a runtime of 94 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 55.

How to Watch The Visit

Where can I stream The Visit movie online? The Visit is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Max, Netflix, Apple TV Channels, Tubi TV, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Visit for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.2/10
55/100
Director
M. Night Shyamalan
Stars
Kathryn Hahn, Olivia De Jonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Benjamin Kanes
Also starring Olivia DeJonge
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