I loved The Sixth Sense. I loved Unbreakable. As far as his directorial efforts go, I’d say that’s about the extent to which I enjoy M. Night Shyamalan. I did love Devil, which he wrote and produced, but he was not the one behind the lens on that one. Suffice it to say, when I learned that a found footage movie, directed by Shyamalan was on the horizon, I was skeptical to say the least. After all, the found footage style of horror has run its course. Once in a blue moon a solid one will come along, but for the most part, every new entry into the sub-genre comes across as little more than beating a dead Tauntaun. Imagine my surprise when a found footage movie, directed by someone I consider to be a notoriously bad director, turned out to be one of the funnest movies of 2015.
The Visit is part Little Red Riding Hood, and part Deborah Logan. A brother and sister are sent by their mother to meet, and spend an extended amount of time with their grandparents for the first time ever. However, this is a Shyamalan movie, a man is known for shoehorning a big plot twist into every movie, so expect that not everything will be as it seems. There are some legitimately frightening scenes within The Visit, something I did not expect. I’m not one for jump-scares, or more specifically, false scares. You know the ones, where the music intensifies, the camera gets closer, and just when you’re about to poop your pants with anticipation, some harmless person or thing hops out of the darkness, and the light tone of the movie returns. I feel like there was much less of that in The Visit than there could have been. Honestly, in some ways, I feel as if this movie presented some of the jump-scare scenarios in an extremely inventive way.
Tying into a “new” or, at least, rarely-used way to create jump-scare moments, comes the other largely surprising fact about The Visit, this movie is effing hilarious, and I don’t mean in an unintentional way. This screenplay was funny, and the actors bring it to life quite convincingly. Tyler, played by 14-year-old Ed Oxenbould, is the cause of most of the laugh-out-loud moments. I’m not going to spoil any of the hilarious gags and one-liners, I’m just preparing you to let your guard down, and have a little fun, with, to my shock, one of the most entertaining theatrically released horror movies of 2015.
The Visit is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Universal, and has been granted a 1080p, full HD transfer, and a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, as well as an English 2.0 Dolby Digital track. Spanish and French tracks are also available on the disc, as well as English, Spanish and French subtitles. The extras include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, a “Making Of” Featurette, and character tie-in photo gallery called Becca’s Photos. The Visit is now available for mass consumption, and you can purchase your copy by clicking here.