The Visit (2015) - The creative mastermind of contemporary psycho thrillers redeems himself - 8/10 (18/09/15)
M. Night Shyamalan is one of the most fascinating and controversial contemporary directors. His newest independent movie goes back to his roots and offers an increasingly addicting plot, a solid acting performance and a twist that is so simple you might not even see it coming. The creative Indian artist manages to make a convincing movie despite a limited budget, a rather unexperienced crew and a lot of found footage material that is usually employed in some of the worst contemporary horror films like ''Devil's Due''. In this movie, the idea of the found footage material makes sense for once and even adds some intimate depth to the two main characters. The fact that two young and rather unknown actors are taking the lead somehow adds to the credibility of the scenario. Even the limited budget turns out to be an advantage since this movie comes around without any distracting special effects. Still, the camera angles, the lighting techniques and the soundtrack are decently chosen and add to an overall positive impression.
What makes this movie stand out is its curious mixture of genres. In fact, M. Night Shyamalan once said that there are three different versions of this film and I'm really curious to watch the other two. One version is an over-the-top comedy flick, the second is a creepy horror movie and the cinematic choice that I'm reviewing right now is in fact a convincing mixture of both. Let's add that the beginning of this movie almost feels like a mixture of a documentary and a reality television show.
Most of the times, humorous horror movies can't convince me and feel ridiculous to me since I even disliked the original ''Evil Dead'' flicks. In this clever case, the movie starts with a few awkward scenes where the audience might not be sure whether they should laugh or feel scared which adds to the overall uneasy atmosphere of the film. In the beginning, one doesn't clearly know where this movie is going to lead us. There are a few creepy horror movie sequences. Other moments feel like light slapstick comedy scenes. The behaviour of some characters shows hints at a solid psycho thriller. The background story of the movie includes dramatic elements. M. Night Shyamalan leads us to a surprisingly coherent and entertaining potpourri of genres before the final thirty minutes of this cinematic cut clearly prove that this version ends up being a gruesome psycho thriller or horror movie. The twisting and turning story is so captivating that the final twist comes almost unexpectedly despite its simplicity.
It has become an almost popular trend to expose M. Night Shyamalan's most recent efforts to unjustified prejudice but let me tell you that true fans of this director and the psycho thriller and horror genres will get more than they could expect from this movie. Despite its subtle diversity, this film is to the point and never loses its clear guiding line. Despite its slow build-up, the film always remains entertaining and even gripping. This movie might not be the director's opus magnum but its mixture of grounded cinematic elements and experimental influences from diverse genres makes this one of the director's best movie of the past ten years and one of the better psycho thrillers or horror movies of a rather unconvincing cinematic year 2015. If you are a sucker for any of these two genres, I can warmly recommend this movie to you.« Celebrating Canada's 150th birthday in 2017!''At times overloaded with epic keyboard layers'': A review of Stratovarius' ''Eternal'' »
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