The Visit

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The Visit

Never having met their grandparents due to a falling out with their mother (Kathryn Hahn) before they were born, Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (a realistically annoying Ed Oxenbould) are thrilled when she agrees to let them go on a holiday visit to the family farm. When they’re met at the train station by Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie), they find them to be your typical, slightly out-of-touch old folk: they’re even fine with Becca filming everything for a documentary.
Sure, there are a few strange things going on at the farm – creepy night time sounds, a mysterious shed they’re not supposed to go into, and so on. But old people are always a little odd anyway, right? Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan eschews his trademark shock twists (mostly) in this horror comedy, focusing instead on slow-burn tension and a quartet of solid performances. It’s a one gimmick film but it’s a great one, mining both laughs and scares from a slowly escalating sequence of offbeat yet plausible behaviour from the grandparents. Seriously, if you’re old and can’t bend down, why wouldn’t you ask a small child to get inside your oven to clean it? And for fans of Shyamalan’s once-trademark twists, there’s good news here too – especially once you realise that guessing the twist early actually makes things more scary.
Reviewed by Anthony Morris