“It is very hard to put horror and humour without counteracting each other."
After Signs and The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan is back with his latest thriller, The Visit (2015), to keep us from sleeping at night.
Instead of covering his usual ground of fighting aliens or conversing with dead people, he uses grandparents as the source of fear.
The Visit attempts to show them in a new light, focusing on the elements of mystery and madness.
It plays on the common expectation that grandparents are cosy and warm characters, and turns this idea upside down throughout the film.
The film begins, as most horror films do, with a seemingly happy family, whose children stay with their grandparents whilst their mother is on holiday.
However, the children would realise they are not ordinary grandparents, and coming out of their rooms past their specified bedtime could result in chaos.
Noticing their bizarre behaviour, the kids would also learn a shocking secret – one that questions their ability to ever return home.
The horror is filmed by showing the characters recording their first-hand experience with a hand-held camera, also known as ‘found footage film’.
But Shyamalan believes ‘it is more of a documentary style of movie, which makes it more cinematic’.
Indeed, the film’s cinematography is remarkably different to his usual style – from the period drama with a creepy twist in The Village to the science fiction horror in Signs.
This is why the idea of something as simple as watch-out-for-your-grandparents is so appealing for the audience!
Reviews for the horror movie suggest it is ‘absolutely terrifying, but laugh out loud in places’.
Fans of the works of the Indian-American director will recognise his signature humour, which is prevalent in The Visit as well.
Shyamalan says: “It is very hard to put horror and humour without counteracting each other.”
Yet judging by the critics’ comments so far, he has certainly managed to achieve this skillfully.
Other reviewers describe the film as ‘very realistic’, which undoubtedly adds to the fear factor.
The movie trailer has already garnered 3.5 million views and fans are loving his humorous style.
Skitsn Giggs comments: “Saw this movie last year at an advance screening, and even got to be apart of the focus group at the end and guess what… everybody loved it!!
“It’s very FUNNY! Not like in a bad way either. M. Night Shyamalan really let his comedy side show in this one.
“The producers were going to put this movie straight to Netflix, but everyone in the theatres thought it was good enough for the big screen.
“He wasn’t making a movie for a studio either, he made it by himself and I believe the response was positive so Universal picked it up.”
Watch the trailer here:
Shyamalan reveals the secret to his ingenuous idea for The Visit. It came to him whilst in hospital after undergoing surgery.
He woke up from anesthesia and the idea of psychopathic grandparents occurred to him.
He says: “This could be just a drug induced thing, but I thought this was a pretty cool idea.”
Having scored 7.5/10 on IMDB, The Visit is well worth a watch if horror is to your liking!
The Visit releases on September 9, 2015 in the UK and two days later in the US.