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M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN'S THE VISIT

year: 2015
It took M. Night Shyamalan to put some pizazz into the completely overused "video camera documenting terror" genre, but does the little brother of a slightly older sister have to do so much rapping? And we're not talking talking here, but an annoying attempt at white boy hip-hop, and what's supposed to be funny really isn't all that fun. Meanwhile, the horror aspect has limitless potential: two children stuck at a rural home with their bizarre, possibly psychotic grandparents. And the performances are surprisingly loose, quick and clever, unlike M. Night's usual monotone actor/actress deliveries, a trademark along with that inevitable twist... and hey, for spoiler's sake, maybe there's one, maybe there isn't...

What's missing from THE VISIT is the kind of suspenseful momentum that catapulted THE SIXTH SENSE director into stardom: providing a worthy treat before the game-changing trick. But in this particular spooky house nightmare, the old coots are way too loony, far too soon, and the kids never seem very scared at all, of anything. EXTRA: To catch a glimpse of M Night's first freaky old lady in a house, check out the end of his otherwise campy eco-horror THE HAPPENING: Betty Buckley steals the show, and could have done wonders in this film... or perhaps should have starred in that one.

RATING: **
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