I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I don’t do horror. But I am a downright sucker for a plot twist, mainly because I’m too oblivious to ever see it coming. However, knowing a movie has a plot twist always kicks your brain into overdrive, doesn’t it? Being told The Usual Suspects had an amazing plot twist ruined it for me a little, because for the first time ever I worked it out halfway through, and don’t even talk to me about The Sixth Sense!
So, all I can really tell you about The Visit is that it’s shot documentary/found footage style by brother and sister Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) when they go to stay with their grandparents (Deanna Dunagan & Peter McRobbie) for a week whilst their mother (Kathryn Hahn) is on a cruise with her boyfriend. That’s all I can say! Trust me, the less you know, the better.
Knowing how terrible I cope with horror movies, I tried to extensively research The Visit before deciding whether I could actually watch it or not. Most reviews I read were similar to this, and gave nothing away, which was of course no help in my quest. Then, I remembered the Parent’s Guide on IMDB. See, I can cope with gore and nasty images, but it’s the cheap thrills that absolutely kill me, so I was hoping IMDB’s guide would help me out with that. This is what I was greeted with:
Thanks, IMDB. At least it warned me of ‘various jumpscares’, my worst nightmare. But look at all those spoiler warnings! It was just too much for my curiosity threshold, so I put on my big girl pants and gave it a go. For the hardened viewers out there, you would probably rate this one as quite tame, but for me, I was nervous laughing to myself throughout, and found something very interesting to look at on the ceiling any time Becca and Tyler wanted to open the bedroom door after 9:30pm.
From what I’ve read, The Visit has really split opinions, with people either hating it or loving it, but I feel like I fit somewhere in the middle. The parts I could bring myself to watch, I enjoyed. I thought the kids did a great job, Ed Oxenbould in particular. I have a 13 year old brother myself and their personalities are a great match. I would image horror fans wanted more, but that would have been too much for me. I read that M. Night Shyamalan prepared 3 different cuts of this film, one pure comedy, one pure horror, and the final product, a mix of the two, and I think it works well.
I wouldn’t class The Visit as a comedy, but there are enough laughs to break up the tension, which I needed!