Macabre…ish Horror Review: The Visit
The Visit, 2015/ 94 min
Siblings, 15 year old Becca (Olivia de Jonge) and 13 year old Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), have a visit planned with grandparents they have never met, for 5 days, while their Mom, Loretta (Kathryn Hahn) goes on a cruise. Tyler is an aspiring filmmaker and he plans to document the visit. It’s been his special interest since their dad left.
They ride the train and meet them at the station, the couple, Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie), are nice and do grandparent stuff like enduring Tyler’s raps, filmmaking shenanigans and baking desserts. The kids keep in touch with their Mom via video call and so far, so good.
But it is not long before the kids notice strange things about their grandparents and their increasingly odd behavior like clawing at the walls in the middle of the night naked, crawling around on all fours, Nana trying to smother herself with her scarf etc. Which they each shrug off and explain as the problems of aging when the kids bring it up. So Tyler decides to start recording it.
Following the most terrifying game of hide and seek they have ever experienced and a strange encounter with a stranger in town, they video call their mother to report the bizarre behavior and shows her. And the kids demand that she come and pick them up.
Alarmingly, their mother tells the kids that those people are not her parents. After realizing they’ve been staying with strangers, she immediately calls the cops and tells the kids to go to a neighbor. The kids try to leave but are instead forced to play yahtzee and Becca is forced to climb into the oven, another odd ‘game’ ‘Nana’ likes to play.
They try to go outside and sees someone hanging from a tree. Later, Becca finds their real grandparents, their corpses are decomposing in the basement. And on top of them are family photos and their uniforms from the psychiatric hospital from where they work. That makes these two imposters, patients.
This is an M. Night Shyamalan thriller with his signature unnerving style. This isn’t a graphic or gory flick though there are some dead bodies and nudity. It’s very psychological and uncomfortable to watch at times. There are jump scares though and the music in this makes it feel more deranged.