Over the past few years, M. Night Shyamalan has been a bit of a running joke in the movie world; his movies are a little weird, fans know that a twist is coming, and worst of all, movie studios know all this. It even got so bad that his name was practically hidden in the last movie he directed, After Earth. However, his upcoming movie The Visit may end up restoring a modicum of respect for the writer/director.
The trailer, which you can see below, shows off what may end up being one of the best films this year, certainly of the horror genre. His name is all over the trailer, just to let fans know that he hasn’t exactly gone anywhere. Between films like The Happening and After Earth (both of which received less than 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), Shyamalan had to seriously re-think things for his next film, a thriller called The Visit, which he financed himself.
“It was a huge risk. You’re saying, ‘I’m gonna do this thing,’ and you have to be aware, as a rational human being, that you may not be allowed back in. That was a real situation. Because they didn’t make it, it doesn’t necessarily go back into the system. That was a risk that I was willing to take. I tried to stay on top of why ‘The Visit’ was an amazing movie to make, and why someone would want it in the system.”
The Visit, as evidenced by the trailer, has elements reminiscent of a modern-day fairy tale — that scene of the grandmother asking the young girl to get in the oven is straight out of Hansel and Gretel — all she needs is a house made of sweet treats. That part is definitely right up Shyamalan’s alley and gives this the potential to be a kind of synthesis of the no-frills horror of Blumhouse and Shyamalan’s sense of magical realism.
The Visit tells the story of a young brother and sister (Ed Oxenbould and Olivia DeJonge) who visit their grandparents (Peter McRobbie and Deanna Dunagan) for a week at their remote Pennsylvania farm. At first, they think their grandparents are weird because all kids think their grandparents are weird, but it turns out that there is something much more sinister going on. Apparently their rule about not coming out of your room after 9:30 p.m. is about more than the old couple liking to hit the hay early.