Thursday, 4 February 2016

the visit

so it's been a while since i loved anything by m. night shyamalan, but the visit is his best film in years, possibly ever. and i say this as someone who actually kind of liked signs.

the film follows a brother and sister, becca and tyler, who are going to stay with their grandparents for a week. the problem is, they've never met their grandparents before and their mother isn't going with them. not long after their arrival they begin to suspect something may not be quite right with their new relatives, and they decide to investigate.

the visit has one of the best conceits for the found footage format in that fifteen-year-old becca is a film geek who wants to make a documentary about meeting her grandparents for the first time, as well as uncovering the secret reason her mother won't speak to them anymore. firstly, i loved that it was the sister who was the film geek and not the brother, even if she did seem more knowledgeable about documentary filmmaking than all my film theory lecturers combined.  however, the main advantage is that it excuses all kinds of ridiculous behaviour that we just wouldn't stand for in other horror movies. this is a kid with a camera - of course she's going to film the crawlspace under the house, that's what kids do!

the film also has a really nice build-up and keeps you guessing as to what the problem with the grandparents really is. like the taking, some of the horror in the visit comes from the idea of getting old and what it's like living with people who are no longer in control of their actions. there's also a nice comparison between the problems, both physical and mental, that the grandparents have compared to the insecurities the kids have. then things escalate and it gets a bit too ridiculous for my tastes, but it was still a cool ride.

this was one of the more solid films i've seen with great performances throughout and a masterclass in building suspense. it loses something when you find out what's really going on, but the journey to that point really makes this film worthwhile

the found footage blogathon will run throughout february in which time i plan to review as many films as possible and maybe throw in a few extras as well. if you'd like to be involved and post your own content, send me a link via twitter with the tag #foundfootageblogathon. i'll retweet your link and will include it in a summary post next week. you can find a full list of the films i'll be reviewing here.

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