By Cole Weinstein
Rating: 3/5 stars
M. Night Shyamalan: is he a genius or a moron? A master of his art or a classic disappointment? Regardless of what you think of Shyamalan, everyone can agree that he is a mystery. After the release of “The Visit,” the enigma continues to grow.
“The Visit” is the newest “horror” film from M. Night Shyamalan about two kids, Rebecca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) Jameson, who go to spend a week with their grandparents. Rebecca, an aspiring documentarian, films the story with her pre-teen brother and wannabe rapper, Tyler, whose sweet rhymes become a major laugh of the film. As the week progresses, they begin to discover that their grandparents’ increasingly odd behavior is a major cause for trouble.
Shown almost entirely through camera footage captured for Rebecca's documentary by the two children, this film is one of the funniest and most self-aware films of the year.
“The Visit” is definitely a return to form for Shyamalan, and is certainly his best film since “The Village” in 2004. While it isn’t by any means a well-directed movie from a technical standpoint, the horror flick presents a very insightful and “meta” view of the ridiculous side of the horror genre, contrasting with “The Happening,” Shyamalan’s horror catastrophe.
“The Visit” is an odd but interesting little film that puts Shyamalan on the right track. Make no mistake-- it is a flawed film with many tonal issues and quite a few questionable performances. However, it is one of the more whimsical films of the year. While not for everyone, Shyamalan’s return into the horror genre has turned out to be quite an enjoyable experience and, if you don’t take it too seriously and absorb the absolute ludicrousness of it all, it is a very fun watch.
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