After a few rough years, I'm happy to say I can once again get excited about new M. Night Shyamalan movies. I thought After Earth was a solid adventure film that was unfairly rejected by the masses (probably because Jaden Smith is an abrasive presence, can't really argue with that), and then The Visit proved it wasn't a fluke. And as a bonus, it was an actual hit, outgrossing most of the year's other horror films and becoming Jason Blum's highest grossing original film since the first Paranormal Activity, so it seems the public is ready to trust him again as well. Or they were just curious to see if grandma actually turned the oven on when the girl went inside, either or.
I personally quite liked the movie; I don't know if it will be something I watch over and over, but I had a lot of fun and even though I guessed the twist around the halfway point, it didn't make the movie any less enjoyable. If anything it kind of ENHANCED my fun, because the unnerving possibilities the twist would allow suddenly became more conceivable - plus I kept trying to poke holes in my own theory, assuming Shyamalan wouldn't "settle" for something so simple. He even seemed to be having fun at his own expense, as the grandmother at one point tells a long story about water-dwelling creatures that threatened to send this into Lady in the Water territory, only to (thankfully) ultimately treat it as the gibberish that it is.
And now it's hitting Blu-ray and DVD on January 5th (it's available on HD now), where it's (largely appropriate and not annoying!) found footage approach and cozy home interiors will play just as well if not better than it did on a giant screen. The disc comes jampacked with several more hours of the kid rapping... just kidding. Not sure if there's any more of that unfortunate element, but there IS an alternate ending and a making of piece - Shyamalan's behind the scenes material tends to be pretty solid, so if it's in line with his older work it should be worth a watch. It also has the movie, obviously, so you can quickly watch it again and see if you missed any obvious clues pointing toward its reveal.
It's hitting stores a bit too late for Christmas, but we're still in a giving mood - someone's going to win a copy! To enter, send an email titled THE VISIT to [email protected] and include your name, phone number and mailing address, and also answer this question: what's your favorite Shyamalan movie? You can quickly explain why, but don't go overboard - if it couldn't fit in a tweet it's probably too long. A winner will be chosen on January 5th and notified shortly thereafter - good luck! (US residents only.)