I’ve already written commentaries about two M. Night Shyamalan movies on this blog and have now talked about M. Night Shyamalan’s career more than any other filmmaker. Why? Because M. Night Shyamalan is a very divisive, dare I say controversial figure that has had some very noticeable ups and downs in his career.

In previous posts, I spoke about the 2004 movie The Village and said that it really wasn’t that bad. I then later expressed a similar opinion about 2008’s The Happening and how you should watch that movie. However, it would his small horror movie from last year that took my attention and proved that M. Night Shyamalan can still make great movies.

Why The Visit Works…

Found footage and low-budget, The Visit works because M. Night Shyamalan is able to focus on the aspects of film that he excels at the most. Mainly, he was able to work with children and wrote a great plot twist that worked. When M. Night made The Sixth Sense, which many consider to be his best movie, he was able to bring out a stellar performance from child actor Haley Joel Osment. While M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t able to help the young actors in The Last Airbender act very good, he sure stepped up his game for The Visit and was able to bring the magic back in a movie that many thought was going to be bad. As far as plot twists are concern, the one in The Visit is so simple and yet so obvious that even I didn’t see it coming. Unlike several of M. Night’s more notorious plot twists, which can be seen as too ambitious, The Visit’s twist is grounded. What I respected about that choice is that the plot twist wasn’t something as silly as water or a group of people not being where we think they are and that it was all about plants. M. Night did something that he hasn’t done for a long time in his movies, he grounded the twist and it worked. He’s also noticeable absent from making his trademark cameo.

Why You Should Give The Visit A Chance…

A simple story about two children going to see their estranged grandparents, which then turns into a living nightmare, might sound a bit like Hansel and Gretel. While there are certainly more than a few homage’s to that fairy tale, The Visit is still highly refreshing. Not for the faint of heart, this movie has more than its share of terrifying moments. Yes, there are your standard scares but also some creepy and outright frightening scenes, particularly with the grandmother. While the story begins with two children and one of them wants to be a filmmaker who documents this reunion, it quickly turns to tragedy. I highly respect The Visit for never losing its sense of engaging tone, intensity or mystery while balancing it with the lightheartedness and fun of childhood.

Overall, The Visit is a CHARMING, SWEET, FUN movie that goes horribly wrong. It then quickly turns into a DARK, DISTERBING, CREEPY and INTENSE horror film with many uneasy scenes. If you were turned off to this movie because you saw that it was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, remember that he has directed great films in the past and that The Visit is certainly his best movie in a very long time. Believe me, even I was surprised, but this movie is more than worthy of your time.

The scene underneath the house for the win. So creepy…