I used to love M. Night Shyamalan. I loved The Sixth Sense, Signs, and The Village. Shyamalan had this gift for long, drawn-out scenes with satisfying plot twists. But somewhere along the way, he did Lady in the Water and The Happening, the latter being so confusing that Shyamalan just called whatever was happening The Happening. It reminds me of that sad scene in Family Guy where they lampoon Stephen King as a dated author whose next novel will be about a lamp monster. After The Happening, I didn’t bother seeing The Last Airbender and After Earth.
But The Visit seems to be a return to form for the master of subdued horror. Here, he brings the kind of narration I missed from Shyamalan’s earlier films. The Visit follows Becca and Tyler, two young siblings who visit their grandparents, who now work as therapists. The grandparents haven’t met Becca and Tyler because their mother left home to elope, and they invite the kids for a week to reconnect. There, the grandparents show increasingly bizarre behavior, my favorite being the creepy scene where the grandma encourages Becca to get inside an oven to clean it.
The Visit has a slow build-up but like a good fucking, has a rewarding ending. M. Night Shyamalan is making interesting films again. I wonder how Split will fare in 2017.