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Movie Review

M. Night Shyamalan's 'Visit' Not Worth Your While

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KMUW movie reviewer Jim Erickson says a new movie is neither scary nor very good.

    

It's hard to believe that only 16 years ago, M. Night Shyamalan was nominated for an Academy Award for The Sixth Sense, which was itself nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture of the year.

Now he has come up with The Visit, which looks more like an amateur effort than anything else I can think of, including The Blair Witch Project, which had an amateur look for a good reason.

The Visit features the old chestnut of two young people visiting their grandparents in a big old house in the country and something going on in the cellar.

It also features the old standby of artsy newcomers, the hand-held camera, to the point of bewilderment. It includes the inevitable youngster making their own movie, which of course gets all tangled up with the main story, to the confusion of everything. Then the girl starts videoing what is going on in the main plot, in a futile effort to find out what it's about.

There's some footage from her home video, including a shot of her little brother just running back and forth across the screen, and an obviously uncompleted bit about Hansel and Gretel and the witch's oven. But there's also a single speech in three segments in three different locations that it's hard to imagine could be used for anything else.

When grandma is supposed to be frightening, her face is powdered dead white, her lips and eyes are outlined in black, and she opens her mouth as if she is showing off her tonsils, and screams.

The rest of the acting is mostly pretty flat. It's rare to see a movie with bad acting these days, but here's your chance.

Despite a good deal of exposition, some of it in the form of a rap song, I had hardly a clue as to the stories, though a pair of young ladies in the lobby assured me that it all made sense to them. They didn't rate the The Visit more than average high, a C or a C+. I'd just as soon not give it a rating myself.