Director and screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan delivered one of the best thrillers in movie history with ‘The Sixth Sense’, but has seen his career founder with gruesome projects in recent years like the ‘End of Times’ fiasco. ‘and the dark’ The Last Air Master ‘.
Trying to rebuild his career and his prestige, he decides to go back to his origins and commission a minimalist, low-budget thriller.
Known for a slow storytelling, his films are offset by shocking endings and twists that save his films in the final five minutes of showing. And ‘A Visita’ sins precisely at this point: it is a boring film, which only pays for the last minutes.
The story is told in documentary style, by two cameras used by the protagonist. She’s making a documentary about her grandparents, so we have shaky, out of frame cameras. This “found-footage” technique is tiring on the eyes, and has already lost its charm with the general public – proof of this is the fiasco “Paranormal Activity 5 – Phantom Dimension”, by the same producer of this film (Jason Blum) .
In ‘La Visite’, two brothers who go on vacation to their grandparents’ farm and, as soon as they find out the elderly couple is involved in something scary, realize that the odds of returning in them and to lead a normal life increase.
The two children are played by actors Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould, who deliver decent performances marred by camera shakes. The best performance of the film is given by Kathryn Hahn (‘How to lose a man in 10 days), who manages to work her character brilliantly. She plays the mother of the children, marked by a sad past for not having spoken to her parents for years after a big argument (one of the secrets that the film does not reveal until the end).
With an interesting premise in hand, Shyamalan fails to capture the viewer’s attention with uninteresting scenes and an extremely slow narrative pace. The best scenes are left to the last minutes, using the already famous final twist so striking in all of the director’s films.
Although it is one of his best films of recent years, “La Visite” remains a negative point in the career of this brilliant director.
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