Saturday, September 19, 2015

Movie Review: The Visit

The Non-Spoiler Part

Peak-a-boo! I'm going to kill you!

In short, if you like psychological horror, go see it. Like, now. No, really, look up the times to your nearest theater and go. I know M. Night has let us down before, destroying our innocence and shattering our souls with such abominations as The Last Airbender and The Happening. But he's back!

It's very basic, low-budget, amazing acting and script. Two kids go to their grandparents', whom they've never met due to an ancient spat between their mom and the old folks, and stay there for a week. Things go from kinda weird old person stuff to WTF we need to leave now pretty fast.

The kids were amazing. The daughter, Becca (age 15), has the teenage superiority complex, but at the same time she's incredibly patient with her germaphobic brother Tyler (13). And the whole reason she's doing this visit is because she wants to reconcile her mom and grandparents (the rift between them is so bad, the mom doesn't even have any pictures of the grandparents anywhere in the house). So even with the annoying teenager act, she's such a sweetheart and you're instantly rooting for her.

They even manage to make the amateur rapper funny. In a good way! I don't know about you, but I hate amateur rapping. Scratch that, I hate rapping, with very few exceptions. So when we first saw Tyler's hobby, I cringed and thought, Oh, so this is why it's a horror movie. But, no, he's actually pretty good at it. And he decides that the best way to swear is by using the names of female pop singers, which is genius. I need to start doing that.

And it's GENDER-NEUTRAL. I can count on one hand all the movies that don't have a damsel in distress, that don't objectify women in the hopes that flashing boobs will bring more sales, and that do have both the boy and the girl be equally in danger and equally capable of fighting the bad guys. The Visit is now one of those movies. Thank you, M. Night!

I don't like the mom; she's pretty weak until the end. And because the kids are making a movie (and because the creators also did Paranormal Activity), it's entirely from their cameras. So there's a lot of jiggling and jostling of the frame.

...those are the only bad things I can say about it. It's a great film. It does a lot of that creepy, tense kind of horror that crawls under your skin (and you don't really notice until you're trying to go to sleep that night), mixed in with the jumps and starts that make wusses like me hide behind our palms and peak out from our fingers.

For more details, proceed to part 2.

All the Spoilers 

The kids convince their single mom to let them stay over at their grandparents' house while she goes on a sex-cruise with her boyfriend. Lord knows, a week with the old folks is a hundred thousand times better than the alternative.

They get there and everything's cool, even with the 9:30 bedtime. Of course, they decide to break that rule immediately and sneak into the kitchen for more of Grandma's cookies. Instead of cookies, they find Grandma sleep-vomitting (akin to sleepwalking, but with vomit).  

Apparently--and this is a real thing, people!--Grandma suffers a kind of dementia called "sundowning." She goes crazy at night, every night, right at 9:30 (ding! well, it's time to start traumatizing the kids!) because her brain thinks she's a werewolf and every night's the full moon.

Meanwhile, Grandpa's "cleaning his gun" (which apparently requires sucking on the barrel like a lollipop) and wearing adult diapers, because he's incontinent, and has decided to keep all of his poop-filled diapers in the shed. As opposed to, I don't know, throwing them away?

The kids see this as perfectly normal behavior, even when Grandma decides to freak them out during their hide-and-seek game beneath the house. Oh, and they can't go into the basement because "there's mold." I'm sure that's all it is.

The house gets a couple of visitors from the hospital where Grandma and Grandpa volunteer, though they're not home during these house calls. They were supposed to come in last week, but didn't. Hm. Weird.

Finally, the kids decide things have gone far beyond old-person strange. Though it might just be because Grandma tried to break into their room with a kitchen knife. These kids are so judgmental. I'm sure she was just going to trim the curtains and decided that midnight was the perfect time to do it.

They get their mom on Skype while Grandma and Grandpa are outside. They show her the folks through the window, and she drops the M. Night twist: "Those aren't your grandparents."

Turns out, the hospital where the real grandparents volunteer is a psychiatric hospital. Our old couple is a pair of serial killers, having locked their kids in trunks and chucking them in the lake. After hearing about Becca and Tyler, our resident crazies decided, "You know what, we want to be grandparents for a week."

The kids are stuck playing the worst game of Yahtzee ever with the "grandparents" while their mom rushes to the cops. Becca slips away to the basement. Because I'm sure the psychotic serial killers decided to keep the real grandparents alive, right?

Yeah, no. The "mold" is a pair of corpses.

Then it's 9:30, and the shit really hits the fan. Becca is locked in the bedroom with the crazy grandma (which is both terrifying and I'm sure the name of a very bad porno). Meanwhile germaphobic Tyler gets to deal with Grandpa's diapers.

That is, until Becca grabs a piece of the broken mirror and gets stabby with Grandma. She breaks out and goes toe-to-toe with Grandpa. When she starts to lose, Tyler goes batshit insane--and awesome--by tackling Grandpa like a pro footballer and bashing his head in with the fridge door.
So, yeah. That happened.

The end!


Know a good show, movie, or book? Do you have an idea for a future blog post? Any questions or complaints? (all criticism is welcome, so long as it's respectful) Then PLEASE contact me.


  1. One issue: You said that the fake grandparents killed their kids. I think that was just the fake grandmother. The impression I got was that they were two unrelated mental patients who became friends in the psychiatric hospital, and the fake grandpa set this whole situation up because the fake grandmother wanted it.

    1. Huh. I thought they were married. They seem pretty cozy with each other. :/

    2. I'm pretty sure he made a reference to "HER kids." I'm not saying that they're not romantically involved, just that their romance started after they were already both in the mental hospital.