Maybe you aren’t the kid that snuck downstairs at midnight to watch old black-and-white “Creature Featues”. Maybe you don’t take Halloween as serious as your Grandma takes her hand-knit Christmas sweaters. Maybe you aren’t even sure who the hell this Wes Craven guy is and why everyone seems so sad. But one thing is for sure – you’re tired of spending two hours in the theatre watching doors open and close by themselves, or sitting through another ambiguous “Katie’s whereabouts remain unknown” ending.
With an ad campaign that made us all second guess every bad thing we’ve said about M. Night Shyamalan’s directorial choices, The Visit was released to theatres September 11th grossing $25 million in it’s opening weekend against a scant $5 million budget!
Horror is a genre that has always found success with budgetary restrictions, because it forces filmmakers to craft character-driven stories we genuinely believe. Simply put, The Visit is a breath of fresh air after years of Saw sequels and Human Centipedes.
I absolutely LOVE found footage films, but too often you’re in the theatre asking yourself “Why is this shot on a camcorder???” because when it’s not used with purpose, that found footage gimmick completely removes you from the movie. You spend more time worrying about the limited characters in your twitter review than the limited characters on screen.
But when it’s done well you’re right there with them, fighting for survival, digging for clues, desperately trying to find a way out the front door and into the arms of a police officer that arrived in the nick of time.
The brilliance of The Visit is in it’s simplicity. Two kids are attempting to film a This American Life style documentary about a family reconnecting after years of resentment and animosity. It’s a clever setup that quickly devolves into a compilation of unnerving video evidence against two people they thought they could trust…
And in case you’re looking for it – The Shaymalan twist this time around is that The Visit is a sharp, well-written horror flick that deserves every dollar it’s made.