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.