Review: ‘The Visit’ – an open letter to Mr. Shyamalan

Dear Mr. Shyamalan,

I have to tell you that I had pretty substantial expectations going into The Visit. If you were to judge a movie by the trailer, you would have to say The Visit looks like one of the scarier films of 2015 and we haven’t had any stellar horror films translate at the box office all year. The plot even has promise: a couple of grandkids who visit grandparents that they have never meet before, only to find out something is terribly wrong with the both of them (I could elaborate but I don’t want to spoil any plot twists). So with all of that being said, I have a couple of questions for you:

  1. Why don’t you stop? Come on, you weren’t ever going to top the masterful job that you did with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, even though Signs was big for you. Haven’t you ever heard of stopping while you were ahead? With each passing film, your sales are dwindling more and more to the point that Columbia Pictures was so embarrassed that you were directing After Earth they didn’t even include your name on the promotional materials that were distributed to the press. That’s the equivalent of saying here’s a movie and it’s directed by some guy. This situation has turned into a real life version of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. I can see it now … “okay … M Night … I know this movie is going to get you back to the top … just follow through and it will all work out …. (M Night runs) …. (slip) …..( BAM!) hehehehehehe.”
  2. Why are you trying to be so damn cute with your “cinematography”? I know … I know … this is supposed to be a found footage film, but when the screen is shaking so much that you start to wonder whether or not you are in an earthquake, it becomes a distraction.
  3. Did you realize that you are making a horror film? Horror films are supposed to be scary enough they sit with you for days and days. Maybe you thought the definition of a horror film is one that is so scary that major motion picture companies wouldn’t jump at the chance to help you finance your miserable attempt at cinematic redemption?
  4. Which third-grade class did you reach out to help you craft this second-rate drivel you call a screenplay? What stood out to me was your amateurish attempt at injecting comedy into a substandard script. The end result was so unpleasant that it felt like I was enduring a four-hour colonoscopy.
  5. I applaud you for hiring Hans Zimmer for this project, because his talents still shined through this cesspool of a film. I, for one, am flabbergasted as to what circumstances lead him to agree to be part of this train wreck. Did you have any members of his family held hostage?
  6. What did the great state of Pennsylvania ever do to you? Do you think that they want to be associated with your ritualistic box-office failures? I mean come on, they have the Phillies, haven’t they suffered enough?

Well, I have to go and do anything to help me numb the traumatic experience that was sitting through your latest film. Give my best to the family.


Your Pal,

Dewey Singleton


Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.