The Visit is shot with the played-out found footage / first-person camera technique. So at first, I was thinking can we JUST show the movie? Unless something new is brought to bear, what’s the point? But it worked well here, with just enough of a slight original spin on the method to add some value.
Until, that is, the inevitable point in all these found footage films where the characters find themselves in frenetic life-or-death situations, but somehow manage to always keep filming. Now I’ve seen actual found footage — it usually makes a number of appearances on every local newscast — and the moment of impact is almost always lost. And lost by people who aren’t even in danger. So I can’t buy that a young teenage girl who has death grasping at her feet will always manage to perfectly shoot the scene. Naturally, the heavier and bulkier the camera the better.
So no, I’m not a big fan of found footage. It worked with The Blair Witch Project, the originator of the technique. And it worked fairly well with Paranormal Activity — the original one, anyway. And here or there it’s effective. But my god, give it a rest. If they resisted the temptation in Saw, they can resist it in The Visit.
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Aside from the found footage approach, The Visit was very mixed, but ultimately fun, scary, a little campy, and more than a little creepy. The deep darkies may just get ‘ya. 6/10