M. Night Shyamalan, has captured his elusive groove, and audiences can shiver, viewing his tantalizing, titillating tale of two charming, disarming, precocious teenagers going to visit their maternal grandparents; Mom’s (Kathryn Hahn) estranged parents, longing to finally meet their genetic-connection.
Fifteen-year-old “Becca” (sensational, stunning Olivia DeJonge) in the embryonic phase as a documentarian, films the entire excursion from commencement to conclusion; similar to “The Blair Witch Project” but more frightening because of the innocence of Becca and her thirteen-year-old “rapper” brother “Tyler” (astounding characterization by Ed Oxenbould); Shyamalan’s script soars from the mouths of these two wonderful children; quick-witted, well-read, devoted siblings but never losing control of their individuality; they toy, tease and coax “secrets” from each other and their grandparents.
Superior casting: Grandfather, “Pop Pop” ( compelling Peter McRobbie) and Grandmother, “Nana”( Deanna Dunagan, oozes creepy fragility); in remote Pennsylvania, cell phones, non-functioning, but their cameras and computer help define their “documentary”; progressing beautifully from benign to terrifying; Becca and Tyler excel as amateur sleuths, stripping the fallacies from realities.
“The Visit” is all and more than what is required from a “scary” movie; feasibility is key, it could happen; likeable characters whose well-being is tantamount to the success of the film; ultimately the right dosage of fear, cunning and righteousness leaving one thrilled, chilled and fulfilled.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!