The terrifying story of a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day.
15-year-old Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her younger brother Tyler (a hilarious Ed Oxenbould). Their mother, played by Kathryn Hahn, is still suffering in the wake of her recent divorce, and to give everyone some space, the kids go off for a week to visit their grandparents for the very first time. Nana and Pop Pop (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie) are warm, if not a bit quirky, at first, but as the visit stretches on, it becomes clear that something is very, very wrong.
Yes, The Visit is a found footage movie, and it’s the first clue that this is a break from the Shyamalan we’ve seen before. As a director, he built his career on meticulously crafted shots and camera moves that carried an almost mathematical precision, but that’s all thrown out the window here. Becca is an aspiring filmmaker, intent on documenting the visit for her mom, and as she enlists Tyler to help, the film takes on a chaotic visual energy that adds a layer of unease when contrasted with Shyamalan’s methodical pace. Where it differs from the Paranormal Activities of the world is that it’s actually beautiful at times; very often Shyamalan simply can’t help but find a gorgeous way to light a scene or evoke a mood, and it keeps the film fresh where the sub-genre has otherwise been pummeled into the ground and left for dead.