The Visit is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village), which he also produced with Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Purge, Sinister). The film employs a found footage style of storytelling to follow a brother and sister (Ed Oxenbould, Olivia DeJonge) 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. (synopsis via First Showing)
I have find memories of childhood visits to my grandparents.
They usually involved a long day of driving – we lived about 10 hours away from them which meant road trips galore which I looked forward to with great excitement because they meant lollies, sleeping on pillows on the seats, and peanut butter sandwiches made by my mum – the thrill of going to the big city of Sydney and the chance to spend a week having fun with two very wonderful people.
My Grandpa would take us for walks and swims on the beach, Nanna would fix her famous coleslaw that we’d have with barbecued fish and chips for dinner, and there’d be all kinds of desserts on offer courtesy of a freezer bulging with Sara Lee delicacies.
Good times, good times.
I am guessing that brother and sister siblings, played by Ed Oxenbould and Olivia Dejonge, can only dream of having those sorts of uncomplicated, warm-and-cosy visits to their grandparents.
Arriving with great excitement to visit their mother’s parents, who the trailer suggests haven’t exactly been an enduring presence in their grandkid’ lives, the brother and sister – oddly none of the sites like IMDb etc list any character names –
arrive to the sort of warm welcome you’d expect.
But it doesn’t take long for things to get seriously, terrifyingly WEIRD.
Like one step away from head spinningly weird.
Yup, that bat s**t- freaky, hide under the blankets and never emerge again crazy.
And the granddaughter captures it all on film, part of a project to document what should be a heartwarming visit to re-connect with the grandparents she and her brother don’t know all that well.
Um, there could be a reason for that.
The strange thing is the mother, played by Kathryn Hahn seems blithely unconcerned about increasingly stridently emotional entreaties from her children that her parents are a few hundred patients short of a fully-functioning asylum.
Now either she knows about it and figures her kids should experience what she did growing up, which seems kind of cruel and not in keeping with her sunny parental disposition – then again the happier you are in these movies, either the more dead or the more evil you will become – or grandma and grandpa’s freaky late night, and then broad daylight, activities are recent developments.
Either way her kids are in danger and it’s a fair question whether they will emerge unscathed.
We’ll find out when The Visit opens in UK and USA on 11 September and in Australia on 24 September.