Our relationship with M. Night Shyamalan is a complicated love/hate relationship. Maybe more like a "Hate Love" relationship. Is it weird that all of our expectations revolve a work of his that is such a stunning collection of misfires that we adore how misguided it is? I'm talking about The Happening, of course. It's a masturbatory masterpiece. Sadly, his films after that have just be run of the mill failures. There was always that hope that he would return to The Happening levels of absurdity, and that's why we have continued to pay actual theater money to see anything new.
Expectations were high when we started seeing trailers for The Visit. It was a collection of weird things that a couple of grandparents did during a visit from their grandkids, and tone wise if felt like it could be another misfire. The trailer just felt like it was giving away the goods and showing all the potentially effective moments in the film. Could this be another The Happening moment?
It turns out that The Visit is not another The Happening. The biggest difference between the two is that The Visit is ACTUALLY GOOD. This is not a typo. M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit is a good movie. It's entertaining, scary, and genuinely disturbing. See it in a movie theater, because it's a great film for the Halloween season, and if you can see it with a crowd that is full of jumpers then I would think it would be even more fun.
Do I think this trend towards quality will continue for M. Night? I don't. But for this brief shining moment there is hope that he is once again capable of weirding us out.