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The Visit receives mixed reviews from audience

M. Night Shyamalan creates a PG-13 horror/comedy film, blending two genres

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The Visit receives mixed reviews from audience

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Eliana Gutierrez, Staff Writer

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Most horror films toy with viewers’ fears and expectations, imagine my dismay after watching The Visit.

In the beginning, the family portrayed in the movie appears to be fun loving, caring and — most importantly — normal. However, it doesn’t take long to realize that things are not right with everyone in the family, which is not surprising if you know the style of director M. Night Shyamalan.

Shyamalan, the director of a few terror inducing films, including the critically acclaimed The Sixth Sense, has garnered a reputation for including unexpected twists in his movies. The Visit, released in early September, is far from meeting viewer’s expectations. This film has shockingly disappointed me considering Shyamalan’s past career achievements.

After watching the movie I noticed some scenes were a bit cliché. However, the writers of this film did an exceptional job with foreshadowing. Undoubtedly, this contributed to my expectation of upcoming scenes.

I went in expecting the movie to pay homage to the terrors we experienced while watching Shyamalan’s previous horror films through our fingers as they hid the rest of our face. Subsequently, this was not the case. Though, we did receive the director’s classic tempo change in dramatic scenes. As it continued deeper into the storyline the details were really just the odd things the grandparents did. This included such things as locking the granddaughter in the oven, chasing the children with a bewildered look, and refusing to be on camera.

Even though terror/comedy movies aren’t his signature in film-making, Shyamalan has managed to make his films popular and possess a quality that is professional and respectable considering the diversity between terror and comedy. That is, prior to this particular film. His unforeseen plot twists have become a staple in his career and that’s exactly what The Visit had, despite the disappointing lack of terror. In comparison to other films with this genre combination, The Visit is unique given the fact that it is filled with new actors and has for the most part, successfully shot the movie alternating between a documentary style and traditional.

The majority of the film took place at the country home of grandparents “Nana” and “Pop Pop” portrayed by Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie. The plot of The Visit revolved around the strange happenings at the grand- parent’s residency. Here I must commend Shyamalan for making a documentary style film that disproved viewer’s doubtful expectations of this unconventional method. The documentary aspect was filmed by visitors/grandchildren Becca and Tyler portrayed by Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould. I personally, found the movie to be minimally frightening when the audience wasn’t laughing at the humor.

Unlike many horror films, The Visit is rated PG-13. This allowed for teenagers to view the film without an adult present, satisfying a desire of the teenage populace to see horror films.

With a few chilling situations that the kids endured and the humorous moments, Shyamalan did an average job with this film.

On a scale of a week-long “visit,” I’d give it a rating of a 4-day stay.

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