The Visit

Can we please put an end to the “found footage” genre?  It worked in the Blair Witch Project but since then it just comes off as a distraction and a crutch.  The Visit is the worst example I’ve seen because it tries to add a new wrinkle, i.e., that the 15 year old protagonist wants to make a documentary for her mom.  Except it’s an absolutely idiotic wrinkle because guess what?  We don’t see the finished product here [SPOILER ALERT #1] even though she survives!  [END SPOILER ALERT #1] It makes no sense at
all for her to make comments in the movie like “oh, this would be a good opening shot”, or leave in her warm-up interview questions, or present her filming chronologically rather than in the order she’s talking about in the film, and while at the same time leaving no doubt that she has taken the time to do quite a bit of editing because there are two cameras on the go and we cut back and forth between them as we would if we were watching a regular movie.  So if this child prodigy is so serious about her craft, why didn’t she complete the movie before letting us (and presumably her mom) see it?

Plus, at one point [SPOILER ALERT #2] the crazy old grandma (who is supposedly out of her mind at the time) picks up the camera, moves it upstairs, drops it so we (and, when they review the footage the next day, the kids in the movie) can see perfectly her threatening knife work that is being performed 20 feet away from the camera, then she picks the camera back up and puts it where she found it, then presumably she goes back to being out of her mind.  [END SPOILER ALERT #2]

So what the hell, M. Night Shyamalan?  What is the point?   All any of this pretense did was take me completely out of the movie and make me madder at you than I was after seeing The Last Airbender at the drive in.  And I don’t know whether the Lady in the Water references were intentional but either way it was a terrible idea to go there.

There is nothing to recommend about this movie at all.  It is not new.  It is not smart.  It is not scary.  It is not entertaining in any way.  Jamie knew the “twist” about one minute into the movie.  The protagonists are annoying caricatures (terrible 12 year old white rapper and pretentious 15 year old kid filmmaker) who further took me out of the movie because if anything I was rooting for them to die.  And then when we finally get to the part where everything comes to light, it’s over in 30 seconds and I think it would have been entirely unsatisfying even if I had cared about the kids’ survival.

The Visit is a terrible movie.  It is among M. Night Shyamalan’s worst, and at this point those depths ought to be very hard for him to re-achieve (and this is coming from a guy who hasn’t seen The Happening or After Earth).  Is there any way we can convince him to just call it a day?

This is a big fat zero for me.  I absolutely despised it and I want an hour and a half of my life back.

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34 thoughts on “The Visit

  1. Carly

    Ahh shit this is a found-footage movie? I didn’t get that from the trailers. Looks like I’ll skip this one. At least until Nopevember rolls around.

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  2. Carrie Rubin

    I didn’t hate it quite as much as you, but I agree, it wasn’t the greatest movie. But my highbrow-movie son agreed to see it with me, so I got some time with my 15-year-old out of the deal. 🙂

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    1. Jay

      Well then that’s not a bad deal!
      Sean got a 90 minute back rub out of it,so I don’t know what he’s complaining about either.
      (I can’t watch scary movies without a major distraction – usually I eat my anxiety, back rubs are better for the waist line though!)

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  3. Birgit

    Oh bless you for writing something so true. We wen to see it last Saturday because Black Mass was too full and Into The woods already started. We thought, unwisely, this might not be so bad. ….it is. I hate that type of camera work. The mother, being upset at her parents all those years for something like that, makes me want to slap her. I figured out what the ending was in the first few minutes. Horrible. My hubby wanted to leave 3 times but I told him no because I have never walked out of a movie, even something this wretched. Thankfully we had gift cards but still…blecchhhh

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  4. J.

    Someone was chatting to me about this one a few weeks ago – the minute they mentioned his name I tuned out. I stopped watching M. Night Shyamalan movies after The Village. I get frustrated by how half cooked they are, so decided I was never watching another.

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  5. Brittani

    I don’t hate the Found Footage genre, it gave me great films like Cloverfield, Zero Day, and Home Movie, but M. Night trying to tackle it is a guaranteed fail. I don’t think I’ll ever watch another film of his again. Even if I love The Sixth Sense. I swear someone else was heavily influencing him while making that one.

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  6. reocochran

    My oldest daughter and I hated this movie! We should have listened to the ticket seller, went the 2nd night opened with hopes it would be unique. Hated the part where young boy gets depends with poop in his face, but thought the premise (switch in gramdparents) could have really worked. Suspense was gone and waste of unique real actors trying to work with bad materisl. The teens in audience were laughing snd talking throughout. Too bad M. Night S. could have done so much better!:( 😦

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