Two things that interested me the most about this 2015 thriller/horror film was the film poster and the trailer.
For instance the poster below, demonstartes how eerie, strange and mysterious the film will be as the you can’t see the face of the person sat in the chair, reveling a sense of hidden identity, which grabs the audience’s attention as we want to know who this is. But the typography hints at the idea that this is an eledrly woman (“grandparents”), hence why she’s in a rocking chair and is sewing; stereotyping eledlry women. But aslo, she may be possesed because she is looking directly at a plain white wall; the colour can have negative connotations of coldness and isolation, in which the woman clearly experiences. Adding to this, the red typography signifies danger whilst it contrasts against the white background with a black shadow that instantly draws us into the genre of the film being a thriller, due to shadows being commonly used, and conventions of that genre.
The trailer on the other hand, reveals quite a lot of information about the film. This is because, the audience learn that two young children are going to visit their grandparents but they turn out to be stranger who killed their grandparents. So I feel that the trailer for “The Visit” tells the audience everything that will happen in the film, losing our element of excitement towards the film.
But, I can say that the film contains more than just what’s told in the trailer. For instance, the film’s plot is about a 10 year old boy called Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) and his 15 year old sister Becca (Olivia DeJonge), who go to visit their grandparents to see if they can find out why her grandparents had fallen out with their mother. During their visit, they are told strict guidelines of what to do, and what not to do, for example, they can’t go downstairs in the basement, or go out of their rooms after 9:30. But one night, they hear strange noises coming from their Nanna (Deanna Dunnagon) who runs around their house due to having Sundown syndrome. Tyler then decides to secretly film her to see what happens when they are sleeping; he later finds out that the video contains Nanna trying to get into their bedroom with a large knife. Shocked by this, Becca and Tyler Skype their mum Loretta Jamison (Kathryn Hahn), to tell her what’s happened, but she reveals that they aren’t her parents… Becca escapes to the basement to find the corpses of her real grandparents, “Pop” (Peter McRobbie) captures her and locks her in the bedroom with Nanna who wants to eat her. The only way for Becca to survive is to overcome her fears of looking at herself, by breaking the mirror and using a sharp piece to stab/kill her Nanna. Meanwhile, downstairs Tyler tackles “Pop” and slams his head in the fridge, which kills him. They are then reunited with their mum, who explains she had left her parents after being with their Dad (Benjamin Kanes) who they disliked, and never returned their phone calls.
What I really like about this film is how it’s shot through the eyes of the character Becca, who carries a camera around, in which some scenes, makes us feel like we are in her position. So when the camera is placed downstairs, so Tyler and Becca can watch their Nanna, we see the Nanna break the forth rule, where she attacks the camera. This makes us feel like she is attacking us and increases are fear towards the psychopathic Nanna.
Moreover, the Nanna is played well by Deanna Dunnagon, although we don’t see much of her face in the scene where she is running around the house, as it’s just dark, with brief glimpses of her white dress, it adds mystery, whilst intensifying the scene. For the reason that I wondered what would happen if the Nanna with a large knife got into the children’s room; since she had previously made Becca get inside the oven to clean it, then soon after locked her in…
Which I thought that this scene would be more intense and disturbing, as shown in the trailer; instead the scene was short/brief, the Nanna simply locked her in the oven, wiped around on the outside and let her get out. Whereas, in the trailer it makes it seem like in the film the girl would be locked in for a long time. Therefore, I would say that I was quite disappointed at this aspect of the film, as the trailer made my expectation for this scene at a high, when truly it was shocking; there was no tense music as well as, just diegetic sounds of her wiping the glass. (Tense music would have made it more frightening.)
The only real gory part of the film was when Becca stabs her Nanna, eventually killing her; here we see a lot of blood, low key lighting and loud screams. All of which builds tension as I admit to fearing that the Nanna would kill Becca, as she was the most scariest in the film. So when Becca kills Nanna, I felt like that mean the ending to this film will be positive, due to their Pops not being as scary, and easily defeatable by the children.
Furthermore, when they are reunited with their mother, it leaves the thriller/horror film on a positive note, despite all that has happened previously, like Pops wiping his dirty nappy all over poor Tyler’s face.
Overall, I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a plot twist half way through the film, like in “The Visit”, where we find these two crazy people pretending to be grandparents to two little kids.