The Visit Film Review 2015 Shyamalan

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The Visit: M. Night Shyamalan’s Triumphant Comeback

Hollywood loves a good comeback story, and no one has had quite as remarkable a journey as M. Night Shyamalan. From being on top of the world to hitting rock bottom, Shyamalan’s career took a turn with his movie “The Visit.” Released in 2015, this campy thriller not only broke his streak of controversial projects but also showcased his ability to leverage the found footage sub-genre effectively.

A Mother’s Decision

In “The Visit,” a single mother named Kathryn Hahn (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) sends her daughter Becca (Olivia DeJonge, Elvis) and son Tyler (Ed Oxenbould, Irreverent) to visit their grandparents. At first, Nana (Deanna Dunagan, Stillwater) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie, Eileen) seem harmless and loving, contrary to their mother’s concerns. However, things quickly take a dark turn when the grandparents’ mental instability becomes evident.

A Director’s Redemption

Prior to the release of “The Visit,” Shyamalan had fallen from Hollywood’s grace. Once hailed as the next great auteur, he faced a decline in his reputation. However, Shyamalan’s unique directorial style continued to be recognizable in his films. With “The Visit,” he showcased his versatility and proved that he still had more to offer, breaking through the criticism and revitalizing his career.

A Fresh Take on Found Footage

One of the risks Shyamalan took with “The Visit” was utilizing the found footage format, seen through the eyes of two filmmaking siblings. This approach could have easily resulted in a messy film, but instead, it turned out to be a captivating and successful storytelling tool. The audience gets to spend the entire film with the young protagonists, gaining insight into their personalities and emotions.

Ed Oxenbould’s performance brings levity and energy to the film, while Olivia DeJonge stands out with her nuanced portrayal of anxiety and vulnerability. The chemistry between the young actors is palpable, and their reactions to the events unfolding around them add to the suspense and excitement.

A Controversial Plot Point

As with any Shyamalan film, “The Visit” isn’t without its share of controversy. Some viewers criticized the portrayal of the grandparents’ mental problems as potentially stigmatizing and offensive. However, it’s important to note that the plot point serves as a twist that enhances the intergenerational dynamics and doesn’t intend to harm or marginalize older individuals.

Phenomenal Performances

In the roles of Nana and Pop Pop, Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie deliver exceptional performances. They effortlessly balance between endearing and terrifying, stealing the spotlight from the young cast members. Shyamalan’s directorial choices and camerawork contribute to immersing the audience in the unsettling experiences of Becca and Tyler.

The Twist and its Impact

While the plot twist in “The Visit” may not surprise seasoned viewers, its execution adds a layer of intrigue. The thrill comes from witnessing the reactions of the characters as they face unexpected revelations. Shyamalan’s storytelling and the performances of the cast make the twist an enjoyable and engaging experience.

A Turning Point for Shyamalan

“The Visit” served as the perfect vehicle for M. Night Shyamalan to defy expectations and regain critical acclaim. Although not his most groundbreaking work, it demonstrated Shyamalan’s ability to infuse familiar narratives with exciting perspectives. The film also highlighted Shyamalan’s dedication to his craft, as he personally financed projects and pushed boundaries to continue doing what he loves.

Ultimately, “The Visit” paved the way for subsequent films like “Split,” “Old,” and Shyamalan’s most recent project, “Knock at the Cabin.” As audiences, we can now appreciate the pivotal role this campy thriller played in revitalizing the career of a talented filmmaker who experienced both immense success and dramatic lows.

Watch “The Visit” Now

“The Visit” is available to watch on digital platforms and on demand. explore the captivating and suspenseful world crafted by M. Night Shyamalan and experience the film that marked his triumphant comeback.


M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Visit” stands as a turning point in the director’s career, effectively breaking his streak of critically panned films and showcasing his ability to utilize the found footage sub-genre. Despite some controversy surrounding the portrayal of mental illness, the performances of Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie provide both endearing and terrifying moments that captivate audiences. With a predictable yet engaging twist, “The Visit” proves to be an enjoyable and thrilling experience. This film serves as a testament to Shyamalan’s resilience and dedication to his craft, opening doors for future projects and solidifying his place in the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is “The Visit” based on a true story?

No, “The Visit” is a fictional thriller film created by M. Night Shyamalan. While it incorporates elements of found footage storytelling, it is not based on real events.

2. What makes “The Visit” stand out among other M. Night Shyamalan films?

“The Visit” stands out due to its successful use of the found footage sub-genre, which adds a unique perspective to the story. Additionally, the performances of the cast, particularly Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie, contribute to its memorable impact.

3. Can I watch “The Visit” with my children?

While “The Visit” is rated PG-13, it contains intense scenes and moments of horror. It may not be suitable for young children. Parental discretion is advised.

4. Was “The Visit” a box office success?

Considering its modest budget, “The Visit” performed well at the box office, earning over six times its production costs. Its success contributed to Shyamalan’s resurgence as a filmmaker.

5. What other movies has M. Night Shyamalan directed?

M. Night Shyamalan has directed several notable films, including “The Sixth Sense,” “Signs,” “Unbreakable,” “Split,” and “The Village.” Each showcases his distinct storytelling style and penchant for surprising twists.