Does a good third act to a film make up for a nearly entirely cringeworthy first hour? Your answer to that question will go a long way toward your decision as to whether or not you should watch The Visit. The newest film from M. Night Shyamalan, The Visit is somewhat of a return to form for Night. He’s had a rough go of it over the past decade, but between (parts of) this film and Wayward Pines, Night’s had his best year since 2002.
The Visit is an immensely creepy film, which is a pretty high compliment when you consider the film is only rated PG-13. If Night had lobbied for an R rating, he could have gone way further and made things a lot more messed up. As it stands now, the film is effective at making your skin crawl, but it also leaves you wanting way, way more.
Thanks in large part to its creepy vibe, The Visit is a film I will never watch again. Even when the film’s jump scares don’t get you, its (at times) masterful camerawork makes your skin crawl. Night is a guy who knows what he’s doing behind the camera.
But I won’t watch The Visit again for another reason: because I hate this stupid lead kid actor. The girl is fine, but the boy is written as one of the most obnoxious characters in a film in 2015. Maybe that’s the point (?), but it feels like Night has never heard kids speak and instead filled a script with buzzwords and reference to hip-hop culture. I’m sure that child actor can do well in other stuff, but not here.
If you’re looking for a film that will make you feel uncomfortable, The Visit might just be what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a movie that’s enjoyable and consistent from start to finish, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The Visit is not worth your time.