The Visit
Muffins are delicious. Completely, utterly delicious. I enjoy sitting down at breakfast with a cold glass of milk with a freshly made banana nut muffin sitting right next to me. The morning is usually the highlight of my day and can make the rest of my 24 hours go by so swimmingly. However, if anyone were to smear shit on that muffin, then it would no longer be a delicious morning treat, it would then become an abomination to this Earth and something that I would toss out and hope to burn. This is pretty much how I feel about every single one of M. Night Shyamalan's ideas. 

That being said, the director once did have potential to be the next big director of the century. His work with "The Sixth Sense" and even (to a point) "Signs" was very well met, and brought in a combined worldwide box office gross of 1.08 billion dollars. However, since his short lived golden age, Shyamalan has pretty much fell flat in every respect. The highlight of his shit licking career has got to be "The Last Airbender", where he brutalized a beloved franchised to hell and back, and even defended his atrocious vision. He should have had his right to direct taken away after that. 

However, I am always one to give another chance to a director no matter the case, and that's why last night I decided to go and see "The Visit". The thing is that this horror comedy actually has a really, really interesting premise. After being separated from her parents for so long, Paula (Kathryn Hahn) hears from them online. They ask to meet their grandkids Rebecca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), the mother agrees, and lo and behold they are shipped off to meet their grandparents. All the while, the kids film it as a documentary like experience in hopes that whatever separated their mother and grandparents can be healed in a wholesome, family manner. But their grandparents John (Peter McRobbie) and Doris (Deanna Dunagan) act very, very strange. 

As I said, the plot seems interesting and like it'd be worth my time, which is why I saw it. But, I was so, so wrong and now I hate myself for giving Shyamalan another chance. There is hardly any horror in this film. There is hardly any comedy in this film. Which is why I find it hard to actually call it a horror comedy. I don't really know which category to put it under other than "Fucking Dumb Shit".

The comedy attempts to come alive in the form of Oxenbould's character, Tyler. He's meant to be a funny, thirteen year old boy who has no shame about who he is or what he does. The problem lies in the fact that his character is a completely annoying douche who I wanted to die within the first five seconds of meeting him. He's a wannabe white boy rapper and reminded me of countless little shitheads that I've met who have that same exact appeal. I guess to some members of the audience humor could be had, but it's not sympathetic humor at all. It more or less comes off as, "This kid is pathetic," and you kind of hope the worst for him. 

Aside from that, the rest of the characters did a decent job acting. I had no major complaints towards one character or the next; both McRobbie and Dunagan did alright for playing looney elder folk, Hahn did decent as a happily sentimental and concerned mother, but DeJonge carried the movie extremely well. 

Playing as Rebecca, DeJonge was able to channel the most mature character in the film who seeks to reconcile her grandparents with her mother. It is a rather tough task for any child, but she is able to push the issue far enough to show off she cares. Even when her little brother starts worrying, she is always the voice of reason and is able to calm him down either by herself or through Skype sessions with her mother. 

Now that I've covered the characters and DeJonge's excellent performance, I would like to talk about the plot a bit more and my muffin analogy. Again, warm, freshly baked muffins are delicious, but having them smeared with shit ruins that. Shyamalan's ideas always seem to hammer that comparison down to a T. "The Visit"'s idea of having estranged grandparents reconnect with their grandkids only for the elders to act completely crazy and strange as if something is undeniably wrong is like that warm freshly baked muffin. Shyamalan's execution is what shits all over the meal and causes it to be complete trash. 

Normally, I don't have anything bad to say about Shyamalan's directing. While his writing needs a ton of work, I don't think he's all too bad behind a camera. But, with "The Visit", it was filmed terribly. Yes, I know, it's supposed to be cameras in the hands of two, inexperienced kids as they document their visit with their grandparents, but that doesn't mean that I'll take pity and not say that this film was shot fucking horrendously. 

Within the first five minutes of watching the film, I was receiving headaches from the angles and shots Shyamalan and friends thought would make this movie a masterpiece. Like all camera POV films, it was hard to see the action on screen which took away tension and there was not a single scene where I actually thought the filming surpassed a level of adequacy. The way the movie was shot made it less engaging than it should have been.

The second to last thing I would like to discuss would be the horror elements in the film. It mainly comes right at the end once what is really happening is revealed, but other than that the film takes its horror moments with a slight hint of comedy. The problem with this is that, while most horror comedies can nail down either horror or comedy in terms of a scene by scene analysis, "The Visit" failed to hit either or throughout its entire duration in any one moment. It was not completely scary at any one time, leaving horror fans wanting more, and it wasn't completely hysterical at any one point, making those seeking comedy snicker, but never really fall out of their seats laughing.

Now, some of you might actually cringe to know that there is a Shyamalan twist in the film. However, I will praise the film by saying it really, really catches you off guard and it is a plot device that I don't think many were able to guess. It certainly revived some energy in the film and makes you fear for the kids' lives.

I really, really wanted to go into "The Visit" and like it, hoping that it would be Shyamalan's return to form as a respected director. But, sadly, that just did not happen with this film. Despite an interesting plot, it was poorly executed and was rather boring. Comedy nor horror comes to full fruition. While DeJonge was able to crank out a powerful performance, the rest of the cast were just a step above mediocre and nothing more.

"The Visit" is a terrible movie and a waste of time. Shyamalan got my hopes up and then drowned me. Somebody stop letting that man make movies. 
2
Brutal Resonance

The Visit

4.0
"Bad"
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Star actors: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn
Muffins are delicious. Completely, utterly delicious. I enjoy sitting down at breakfast with a cold glass of milk with a freshly made banana nut muffin sitting right next to me. The morning is usually the highlight of my day and can make the rest of my 24 hours go by so swimmingly. However, if anyone were to smear shit on that muffin, then it would no longer be a delicious morning treat, it would then become an abomination to this Earth and something that I would toss out and hope to burn. This is pretty much how I feel about every single one of M. Night Shyamalan's ideas. 

That being said, the director once did have potential to be the next big director of the century. His work with "The Sixth Sense" and even (to a point) "Signs" was very well met, and brought in a combined worldwide box office gross of 1.08 billion dollars. However, since his short lived golden age, Shyamalan has pretty much fell flat in every respect. The highlight of his shit licking career has got to be "The Last Airbender", where he brutalized a beloved franchised to hell and back, and even defended his atrocious vision. He should have had his right to direct taken away after that. 

However, I am always one to give another chance to a director no matter the case, and that's why last night I decided to go and see "The Visit". The thing is that this horror comedy actually has a really, really interesting premise. After being separated from her parents for so long, Paula (Kathryn Hahn) hears from them online. They ask to meet their grandkids Rebecca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), the mother agrees, and lo and behold they are shipped off to meet their grandparents. All the while, the kids film it as a documentary like experience in hopes that whatever separated their mother and grandparents can be healed in a wholesome, family manner. But their grandparents John (Peter McRobbie) and Doris (Deanna Dunagan) act very, very strange. 

As I said, the plot seems interesting and like it'd be worth my time, which is why I saw it. But, I was so, so wrong and now I hate myself for giving Shyamalan another chance. There is hardly any horror in this film. There is hardly any comedy in this film. Which is why I find it hard to actually call it a horror comedy. I don't really know which category to put it under other than "Fucking Dumb Shit".

The comedy attempts to come alive in the form of Oxenbould's character, Tyler. He's meant to be a funny, thirteen year old boy who has no shame about who he is or what he does. The problem lies in the fact that his character is a completely annoying douche who I wanted to die within the first five seconds of meeting him. He's a wannabe white boy rapper and reminded me of countless little shitheads that I've met who have that same exact appeal. I guess to some members of the audience humor could be had, but it's not sympathetic humor at all. It more or less comes off as, "This kid is pathetic," and you kind of hope the worst for him. 

Aside from that, the rest of the characters did a decent job acting. I had no major complaints towards one character or the next; both McRobbie and Dunagan did alright for playing looney elder folk, Hahn did decent as a happily sentimental and concerned mother, but DeJonge carried the movie extremely well. 

Playing as Rebecca, DeJonge was able to channel the most mature character in the film who seeks to reconcile her grandparents with her mother. It is a rather tough task for any child, but she is able to push the issue far enough to show off she cares. Even when her little brother starts worrying, she is always the voice of reason and is able to calm him down either by herself or through Skype sessions with her mother. 

Now that I've covered the characters and DeJonge's excellent performance, I would like to talk about the plot a bit more and my muffin analogy. Again, warm, freshly baked muffins are delicious, but having them smeared with shit ruins that. Shyamalan's ideas always seem to hammer that comparison down to a T. "The Visit"'s idea of having estranged grandparents reconnect with their grandkids only for the elders to act completely crazy and strange as if something is undeniably wrong is like that warm freshly baked muffin. Shyamalan's execution is what shits all over the meal and causes it to be complete trash. 

Normally, I don't have anything bad to say about Shyamalan's directing. While his writing needs a ton of work, I don't think he's all too bad behind a camera. But, with "The Visit", it was filmed terribly. Yes, I know, it's supposed to be cameras in the hands of two, inexperienced kids as they document their visit with their grandparents, but that doesn't mean that I'll take pity and not say that this film was shot fucking horrendously. 

Within the first five minutes of watching the film, I was receiving headaches from the angles and shots Shyamalan and friends thought would make this movie a masterpiece. Like all camera POV films, it was hard to see the action on screen which took away tension and there was not a single scene where I actually thought the filming surpassed a level of adequacy. The way the movie was shot made it less engaging than it should have been.

The second to last thing I would like to discuss would be the horror elements in the film. It mainly comes right at the end once what is really happening is revealed, but other than that the film takes its horror moments with a slight hint of comedy. The problem with this is that, while most horror comedies can nail down either horror or comedy in terms of a scene by scene analysis, "The Visit" failed to hit either or throughout its entire duration in any one moment. It was not completely scary at any one time, leaving horror fans wanting more, and it wasn't completely hysterical at any one point, making those seeking comedy snicker, but never really fall out of their seats laughing.

Now, some of you might actually cringe to know that there is a Shyamalan twist in the film. However, I will praise the film by saying it really, really catches you off guard and it is a plot device that I don't think many were able to guess. It certainly revived some energy in the film and makes you fear for the kids' lives.

I really, really wanted to go into "The Visit" and like it, hoping that it would be Shyamalan's return to form as a respected director. But, sadly, that just did not happen with this film. Despite an interesting plot, it was poorly executed and was rather boring. Comedy nor horror comes to full fruition. While DeJonge was able to crank out a powerful performance, the rest of the cast were just a step above mediocre and nothing more.

"The Visit" is a terrible movie and a waste of time. Shyamalan got my hopes up and then drowned me. Somebody stop letting that man make movies. 
Sep 16 2015

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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