Every now and then, don’t you get the urge to satisfy your craving for fear? Isn’t Halloween season the best time for that? Maybe that’s why we have Halloween? Regardless M. Night Shaymalan’s The Visit is a perfect addition to the horror repertoire.
If the teenagers in the film (Becca and Tyler), do shoot video as good as they do, then they should be hired for the upcoming Star Wars films! This is technically not a found footage film, but more like a mockumentary. On the surface this film seems like your basic horror flick designed purely for the screams and to entertain the masses, but a closer look reveals that The Visit has some deeper meaning to it. Well it does spell out the message clearly in a closing scene with the words, “don’t hold on to anger.”
Like The Babadook, The Visit is about facing your fears. In this case two children are psychologically affected by the departure of their dad. One of them fears germs, the fear of not having control. The other has stopped looking at herself in the mirror, the fear of not having worth. In the end both need to face these fears to be victorious.
Additionally this movie exposes the real challenges that children face when their parents split up, coupled with Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould’s performances, this point hits home loud and clear. Talking about performances, Deanna Dunagan as Nana really steals the show. She is haunting. Peter McRobbie as Pop Pop along with Nana also serve as a reminder that old age care is a serious issue, and the consequences of it not taken seriously can be disastrous.
All in all this film has it’s great moments of comedy, and if it was trying to be a hard-core horror it failed. There are moments of fright and alarm, but this is no Blair Witch Project. Credit must be handed to M. Night Shaymalan and his brilliant twists. So if you’re getting that craving for fear, and want to start it off with a subtle offering, The Visit will suit.
TRIVIA COOKIE: This project was originally entitled, Sundowning.