In the well over 90-minute film, director and producer M. Night Shyamalan, proves that it is, in fact, possible to put a spin on horror with great humor by giving it the perspective of a 15-year-old rising filmmaker as she tries to make a documentary about her creepy grandparents. Comedy sits pleasantly within this horror film.
Ed Oxenbould and Olivia DeJonge play Tyler and Rebecca Jamison, young siblings traveling to Pennsylvania to meet their supposedly grandparents for the first time. Rebecca, aspiring filmmaker, wants to document the entire stay as a form of therapy for her mother, who has a bad relationship with her parents which remains a secret.
The Visit is told through the view of Tyler and Rebecca, who brings great comicality to the film. It’s pretty usual to witness siblings fight or dislike each other but in The Visit–we witness the uncommon yet natural bond between ‘Ty” and “Becca” while documenting their frightful stay at “Nana” and “Pop Pop’s.”
Becca’s goal is to get Nana and Pop Pop to speak about and forgive her mother, although, she has not seen them since leaving home at the age of 19. Becca wants to document it all in the hope of fixing a broken family by decades of resentment and divorce.
In the film, what’s supposed to be an eerie moment usually will comfortably transition to an hysterical one especially when Rebecca films Tyler freestyle rapping. While documenting–we get deeper into the feelings and anxieties of the siblings as they do interviews right on camera.
During the first several hours of the visit– all was well as Nana, played by Deanna Dunagan, bake cookies and cook food for the Jamison’s but strangely things rapidly changed.
A bedtime of 9:30 is given to them by Pop Pop, played by Peter McRobbie, where they cannot open up their bedroom doors but when strange things and noises occur outside of their door–the Jamison’s reevaluate the rules along with their week-long stay.
What is seen through the camera after a night of hiding it in the home, changes absolutely everything even with the climax of a psychotic game of Yahtzee. The Jamison’s create jokes out of all the horrendous moments they’ve witnessed in the home rather than let their fear take over.
Besides the sense of humor and horror, Shyamalan reveals loss and grief as we tap into the lives of the Jamison’s. Director Shymalan did well making this bittersweet film.
The film is set to be released Friday, September 11.