“The Visit” Isn’t Worth the Trip

On Sept. 11, The Visit premiered in theaters. The hour and 34-minute film was produced by M. Night Shyamalan, who also produced and directed the Paranormal Activity films and The Sixth Sense. 

I was immediately interested in seeing The Visit because I love scary movies. Unfortunately, the film is not as scary as the trailer portrayed it to be, and the cast consisted of unknown actors and actresses. Much like in the Paranormal Activity series, The Visit was shot in ‘found footage’ style, which resulted unfavorably in the camera being all over the place. However, the movie had a very unpredictable twist at the end that left the audience thinking. In fact, the unexpected ending was about the only thing I liked about the movie. Rotten Tomatoes reviewers agreed with its overall poor quality, as The Visit received a rating of 58 out of 100 from 19,544 ratings, or a 3.4 out of 5. 

In the beginning of the movie, siblings Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) and Becca (Olivia DeJonge) are off to visit their estranged grandparents for the very first time. Becca is very eager to go to her grandparent’s farm in remote Pennsylvania; she could not wait to see where her mother grew up and she had her camcorder ready to document the week. At first, things seemed picture perfect: their grandmother was baking a plethora of things for them and their grandfather gave them a tour of the house, explaining that they would be staying in their mother’s childhood room. It was made very clear that the basement was off-limits and that bedtime was 9:30 p.m. 

Eventually, Tyler starts noticing weird things; he and Becca confront their grandparents about their odd behavior, but they always seem to have a clever excuse. Becca chooses to ignore all these strange occurrences, but Tyler can’t let it go.

About halfway through their trip, they are awoken one night by a loud scratching noise past 9:30. Tyler, ever the inquisitive nine-year-old that he is, opens the door to find his grandmother repeatedly and quickly scratching the walls naked. The following night, they are awoken again by their grandmother, but this time she is running as fast as she can around the entire house as if she were being chased by something. Tyler decides to hide Becca’s camcorder in the living room so that they can capture this bizarre behavior on film, but the idea backfires when it’s found by the grandmother and things get dangerous.

Becca and Tyler spend the rest of the film attempting to escape the wrath of their grandparents, frantically packing in an effort to put an end to their visit.

If you were a fan of the Paranormal Activity movies, then this might be a good movie for you. Otherwise, save yourself the trip and skip The Visit.