By: Davis McCondichie

Everyone has seen a movie that makes you think, “What did I just watch?” However, none of these films measure up to the bizarre box office release “The Visit”. Critics and audiences alike were hoping for an exceptional return from the once great director M. Night Shyamalan. What audiences received was a completely different monster. On a spectrum of thrillers to laughable flops, “Sixth Sense” to “The Happening,” “The Visit” is a confounding and non-conforming shade of gray.
“The Visit” follows Rebecca, 15, and younger brother Tyler, 13, as the two venture to their grandparent’s house for a week while their mother goes on a cruise. Oddly enough the kids have never met their grandparents due to past drama with the parents.
The cinematography of the film shoots with Kubrick-like transitions, found footage, and eerie out-of-focus shots that keep the audience on the edge of their seat for a very short period of time.
Paul Contelon’s score for the music is equally well done. Contelon takes the score less traveled by, by refusing to utilize tense music as a hint to the audience when jump worthy scenes are coming. Instead, the audience is treated to a practical score that refines the movie to a simplistic horror-style.
Despite the well-deserved praise for Shyamalan’s skill as a director, the twisted Hansel-and-Gretel-adapted story turns into a comedy bewildering audiences before their eyes. This includes bits of rapping, awkwardly placed jokes, and a comedic game of Yahtzee. Shyamalan’s writing is so malnourished because of choppy exposition and unnatural dialogue. Do not be surprised when the 15-year-old uses bigger words than your college English professor and the 13-year-old’s vulgarity is unmatched by his age. The mistakes continue to be tallied for this movie but for the sake of the Shyamalan twist secret, the many of faults the film must go unmentioned.

Still, be forewarned that the film takes a lifetime to build any sense of horror. In fact, it takes about 70 minutes until the audience makes a terrified jump in their seats. This means that two-thirds of the movie are odd sequences with the grandparents followed by a wisecrack. Many viewers will grow restless as they wait for a climax that never comes.
Shyamalan’s “The Visit” misses the mark as a quality horror film. The film employs untimely jokes as comedic relief, and fails to build sympathetic characters. Shyamalan attempts to make up for his weaknesses with an excellent usage of cinematic technique, and a well-tied plot. Though the body of the film is solid, it is covered with a weak shell therefore spoiling the movie for the viewer. “The Visit” will not impress the critics movie-goers are, but it may be worth a watch for an unusual story that Shyamalan attempts to weave through mixing laughs and screams for an outlandish and eccentric time.

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E23 Web Director Colleen Sloyan has been with MUTV for three semesters now. She is studying for a Bachelor of Journalism and a minor in Business.