The Visit: A disturbing new horror film


Julia Fickenscher

Many people have seen the ad for the movie that’s been taking over the internet, but aren’t sure if The Visit is going to be a great film or a mockery of horror.

The film depicts two kids, Becca (played by Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (played by Ed Oxenbould), visiting their grandparents for the first time. Though everything seems happy and fun at first, throughout their trip, the siblings notice odd behavior from their “Nana and Pop Pop.” From their warning to not leave the room after 9:30 p.m., to their Pop Pop just “cleaning” his gun, to the almost iconic shot of Nana asking Becca to clean the oven in the trailer, this movie intrigues several teens.

Although it may seem interesting, it is hard to tell whether the movie is going to be a hit or a bust. One factor that makes people intrigued is that it marks the “return” of Manoj “M.” Night Shyamalan, a film director known for popular films such as The Sixth Sense and The Happening. Because of his reputation, most people believe this film must be well thought-out and fun to watch. However, the concept and plot of the movie seems weird; possessed grandparents seem like more of a joke than a real horror movie.



Because of its mixed reviews I knew I had to watch it and decide for myself whether the movie was any good. Although I have not watched many horror films, I do not dislike them, leaving me in the “beginner/intermediate” stage of horror film fans.

The Visit is filmed as a “mockumentary,” or as though one of the characters is making a documentary. The shaky angles and the characters talking directly to the camera added an interesting and positive spin to the movie.

It starts with an interview of the mother, explaining that the reason they are making the documentary is so past family history can be forgiven. Throughout the film, they elaborate on what that history was, how it affected each character and how they reflect on it now. This added a serious side that you might not always get from the classic horror movie.

Through the first two-thirds of the movie, there is not much that is too terrifying. Although there is a lot of suspense, it often builds up to nothing. The kids add in a lot of comedic moments as well, balancing out your overall emotions.

Some may say the beginning is somewhat slow. Although there are definitely unusual moments with the grandparents, you have to wait until you get to the dramatic plot twist to be sitting on the edge of your seat. Once you get to that point, your heart rate does start to escalate and the movie gets a lot more interesting.

There are definitely two types of horror films: the actually terrifying ones about ghosts or possessed humans or psychopaths that leave you hiding under the covers at night, questioning whether you’ll ever recover, and the more disturbing ones that do not really frighten you, but make you feel like you can never unsee those two scarring hours. The Visit definitely falls under the second category. Yes, the grandparents are creepy, but more than anything, they are just disturbing and unusual. It isn’t going to give you nightmares, but may leave your jaw open and your mind wondering what you really just watched.

For those of you who like that style of horror (or possibly don’t enjoy the first type of horror), The Visit is definitely worth the watch. However, for those of you who want to constantly jump out of your seat and be lying awake in the middle of the night, you are going to be disappointed.

Did I enjoy the movie? Not necessarily enjoyed, but it definitely left me thinking. Although I do not really regret watching it, I don’t think I would see it again. Overall The Visit is more scarring than scary, but for those of you who enjoy that style of a horror film, definitely give it a try.

Featured Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

What do you think?