The Visit

Even if you like horror films, stay away and save yourself.

The VisitI have enjoyed many of the criticisms flowing from those who read my reviews, none more than the comment, “Good grief, are there any films that you don’t like?” My response, still holding true to this day, is simply, “Sure, those are movies that I don’t see!”

More to the point, there simply isn’t time to see everything. That is particularly true when films star Adam Sandler. Sure, he has been in several years ago that have a bit of merit, but his repeated portrayal of a “man/child” has outlived its usefulness. Unfortunately, the obviously talented actor Kevin Hart is dancing on that same cinematic ledge.

Furthermore, it is disappointing that mainstream films aimed at African American audiences center on attractive women being stalked. That is a profound problem, and look no further The Perfect Guy and Jennifer Lopez in The Boy Next Door.

However, even I occasionally see films that are borderline nonsense, and that is the case with Director M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. It rivals Paper Towns as the worst film of 2015.

In short, the film tells the story of two children who are sent by their divorced mother to visit grandparents who they have never seen. The concept is ridiculous enough, but it isn’t helped in that the decision of the mother is based solely on her desire to go on a Caribbean cruise with her boyfriend. I can  confidently predict that you will dislike every principal character in this film after its opening scene.

In any event, the kids meet their grandparents, who naturally live in a remote farm house. Have you ever noticed that nearly every horror film released in recent years involves kids visiting in a rural setting? Why does Hollywood have such a sinister view of our farming community?

Nevertheless, our kids quickly make it known that they are filming their entire visit. It soon becomes clear that the grandparents are a strange duo, and it is equally clear that the audience could care less.

Among other things, this movie lacks intrigue, suspense or any type of genuine horror. It is not an overstatement to say that Mr. Shyamalan’s direction is little better than the filming done by the kids on their visit with mommy’s parents.

To make matters worse, the young boy is seen repeatedly filming himself as he sings hip hop music lifted out of Straight Outta Compton, and the fact that this boy is white leaves you shaking your head in complete disbelief. What was Mr. Shyamalan trying to suggest, starting a national organization with the initials WKWA – White Kids With Attitudes?!

Unfortunately, several national critics have praised Mr. Shyamalan for finding the genius he displayed long ago in The Sixth Sense (1999). Those critics are dead wrong, and I can only close with the exchange I had with a young man behind the ticket counter as I arrived.

As I purchased my ticket, I asked him if he had seen this film, and he could only look at me and say, “I’m not going to tell you. Just come and talk to me before you leave the theater.” After the movie ended, I approached him shaking my head. I could only say, “This film was little more than cinematic trash”. To which he responded, “No, it was total garbage.”

After the movie ended, I looked over my shoulder and said, “Can I quote you?” To which he responded, “Go ahead, it’s the truth.”