Movie Review: The Visit ... Yawn!

I had wanted to like The Visit as it was filmed where I live and that is the beauteous surroundings of suburban Philadelphia and its Chestnut Hill area, but The Visit is one big narcissistic flop. Waiting to be scared is boring. What a pity with the fine acting and excellent production values that the writing of The Visit is high school at best. It is written by the director M. Night Shyamalan. Too much control at the helm and no objectivity. Someone had to tell M. Night Shyamalan the truth during the creation of this dreck, but it is obvious that only compliments were in order. And so boredom set in after the first few minutes and continued for ninety percent of the film. And fine talent is wasted.

The Visit is about two children in their early teens who go to stay with their grandparents whom they have never met. Naturally these grandparents are elderly and suffering from sundowning which affects senior citizens with dementia. Their behavior is peculiar at best. If you can make it to the end of the film, all the odd mannerisms of the grandparents is explained in a shocking conclusion. But, alas, it took so long to get here that my interest had left the station. A failed attempt at self-involved humor concludes this film.

The use of silence as a sound track in the fleeting moments of fright works and was the star of this failure. Camera work was good as well, but the music in the finale was absurd. The child actors were charming, clever and skilled considering the mediocre material. The film stars Olivia DeJonge, as a precious Becca who is an aspiring director and making her home movie of her life. Ed Oxenbould is Becca's younger brother who is assisting Becca in making their movie, but is a frustrated teenage rapper who does this with great agility and charm throughout this film. Deanna Dunagan plays the grandmother, Nana, with conviction. Peter Mc Robbie is Pop Pop who is the caretaker of Nana who suffers from sundowning. Kathryn Hahn is the Mom who sends her children to their grandparents from whom she is estranged. Hahn is taking a much needed vacation from her children as she is a single parent. She lifts The Visit every time she appears on screen, pulling it from the doldrums of a film that tries to be scary but is one big snore.