The Visit reviews are predominantly less focused on the action happening on the big screen than on who was behind the camera.
In his return to the big screen as a writer/director/producer, M. Night Shyamalan bears the brunt of negativity involving reviews for the feature film. The Visit is M. Night Shyamalan’s return to the thriller genre he spurred with movies at the turn of the 21st century. Movies like The Sixth Sense, Signs and The Village set the bar high for Shyamalan, a mark his offerings over the past decade have missed.
Variety writer Geoff Berkshire penned a critique heavy on sarcasm and biting humor aimed at M. Night’s return to directing after a two-year hiatus following After Earth.
“Heavier on comic relief (most of it intentional) than genuine scares, this low-budget oddity could score decent opening weekend B.O. and ultimately find a cult following thanks to its freakier twists and turns, but hardly represents a return to form for its one-time Oscar-nominated auteur.”
The Los Angeles Times was even more dedicated to bashing the man behind the movie. Writer Michael Sragow calls The Visit a debacle unfolding on the big screen.
“In The Visit, [Shyamalan] veers haphazardly from brutal slapstick to heartbreak and lets his ending dribble into anticlimax. On the moviemaker’s own terms, The Visit is sham Shyamalan.”
But positive reviews for The Visit do exist. ABC News‘ David Blaustein asks his readers to suspend judgment on the movie based on the director and focus more on the movie itself, welcoming M. Night back into the good graces of the movie-making business.
“If you come across another review of The Visit, and you can tell it’s going to be a negative one, stop reading it. It’s likely written by someone who just wants to pile on M. Night Shyamalan who, to be fair, hasn’t made a remotely interesting movie in over a decade… I’m here to tell you: The Shyamalan bashing stops with The Visit.”
Grantland‘s Wesley Morris also took stabs at Shyamalan, but overall wrote the movie lived up to its attempt at entertaining the audience.
“It was fun watching this with a gasping and screaming audience. For horror-goers, the comparative competence must hit the spot.”
The plot for The Visit revolves around 15-year-old Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and 13-year-old Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) making their first-ever trip to meet their grandparents, played by Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie. The young siblings soon discover there’s more than meets the eye about their grandparents and their weird quirks and ominous rules.
This thriller is equal parts comedy and horror, providing audiences with tense moments followed by spurts of laughter. Also, the cinematography is a move away from the normal footage audiences expect from Shyamalan. In The Visit, the story is told primarily through the Becca’s lens, allowing the technical aspects to be deliberately less sharp.
Do you plan to watch The Visit? Leave your answers in the comment section below.
[Image by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]