The Visit is a comedy horror film which was released by Universal Pictures in North America on September 11th of this year, 2015. The New York premiere was on September 8th. The film was directed, produced, and written by M. Night Shyamalan. It was also produced by Marc Bienstock and Jason Blum. The music is by Paul Cantelon and the cinematography was done by Maryse Alberti. The Visit was edited by Luke Franco Ciarrocchi and production companies include Blumhouse Productions and Blinding Edge Pictures. It was distributed by Universal Pictures. The running time is 94 minutes; the country is the United States and the language is English. The budget was $5 million and the box office was $9.2 million. Filming began on February 24th, 2014 at various locations in Pennsylvania such as Chestnut Hill, Chester Springs, and Royersford. Initially the title was Sundowning. The first official trailer was released to theaters on April 17th, 2014 and later that week it was released online. On August 30th The Visit premiered in Ireland.
The cast of the film consists of Olivia DeJonge as Rebecca Jamison, Ed Oxenbould as Tyler Jamison, Kathryn Hahn as Paula Jamison, Deanna Dunagan as Doris Jamison, Peter McRobbie as John Jamison, Benjamin Kanes as Robert, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Stacey, Jon Douglas Rainey as Brian Gildea, Shawn Gonzalez, and Richard Barlow as Police Officers, Michael Mariano as Hairy Chested Contestant, Erica Lynne Marszalek and Shawn Gonzalez as Train Passengers, and Steve Annan as Man on Street.
The title, The Visit, has to do with the central plot which involves two teenagers—Rebecca and Tyler— as they visit their grandparents. The siblings have never met their grandparents and on the stay, which is over the course of a week, they intend to film a documentary about their trip and time with their grandparents. Paula, Rebecca and Tyler’s mother, is embarking on a cruise with her boyfriend. She has not seen her parents in many years. In fact, she has not seen them in 15 years because she ran away with Robert who was her high-school teacher, obviously to her parent’s strong displeasure. Robert has left her since then and she explains some of this story to Rebecca, but much remains unanswered and Rebecca is somewhat curious, leaving open the possibility that she may ask her grandparents for more information.
John and Doris, their grandma and grandpa, are there to meet Rebecca and Tyler at the train station. They live in a farmhouse which is isolated out in the country. Once Rebecca and Tyler arrive, their grandparents warn them about the basement, telling them never to go down due to the fact that it contains dangerous, toxic mold. John explains that because they are elderly people they go to bed early and that bedtime is 9:30. An hour later Rebecca goes downstairs in search of food and there she discovers Doris who appears very sick and is vomiting. Of course Rebecca, concerned for her grandmother, brings this news to John. John seems unconcerned, saying it is probably nothing more serious than the stomach flu. After this Rebecca and Tyler are instructed to stay in their rooms past 9:30 at night. Doris’ strange illness is only the beginning of things. More and more odd events begin taking place and when Rebecca asks about her mother leaving home Doris goes into an episode of shrieking and shaking and won’t desist until Rebecca manages to calm her down. In another incidence a woman confronts John and Doris and she is seen going into their home but no one sees her leave.
Tyler decides to do some investigating as he is worried about his grandparents’ unusual and somewhat frightening behavior. He hides a camera downstairs in the hopes of unveiling what takes place there during the night. Doris finds the camera and becomes intent on violence, but she is unable to break into Tyler and Rebecca’s bedrooms because they are locked. After they look at the footage on the camera they get in touch with their mother Paula and discover that Doris and John are not their grandparents at all. Things quickly unravel in a violent event as Tyler and Rebecca uncover the truth and try to escape with their lives.
At this point reviews are slightly mixed but they could change in either direction. Only time will tell, for sure, what people will think of the film. Rotten Tomatoes has given the movie an approval rating of 62%, which although is not fantastic it is at least reasonable. This rating may still change, of course.
In the end there are a few characteristics from Hansel and Gretel which are present in The Visit. For one, the two children are brother and sister. They find their way to an isolated location with two elderly people. One of the big distinguishing factors, aside from the eventual outcome and motive of the plot, is the fact that Tyler and Rebecca film everything, giving it a somewhat Paranormal Activity feel. In the end The Visit aims to supply its viewers with a mixture of humor and horror which many claim it does quite well. It has also been said that due to some of the strangeness of the events it may even develop a cult following. There have been a few jump-scares, reportedly, but it is generally lighter than other horror movies, which, considering it contains some element of humor, could be expected.
Critics claim that The Visit proved to be a mediocre disappointment. While some say it would make more sense as a comedy others did not find it either frightening or funny. Quite a few people are somewhat wary of M. Night Shyamalan, as well, but others say he has made a comeback with The Visit. Those who didn’t like it criticize the fact that the film is low-budget, but other reviews claim that decent entertainment can actually come cheap. Also, if you don’t like found footage films—which are relatively common—you may not like The Visit. There are still those, of course, who love found footage, and this may be worth watching. Stream The Visit when you sign up for Comcast XFINITY bundles.