*SPOILERS?*

Minding my own business, my sister asks me if I want to order a new M. Night Shyamalan movie… I was all, “Oh, it can’t be too bad. Its M. Night. And, look, producers from Insidious and Sinister.”

The Visit is a film about a two children who, for a week, go to stay with their grandparents. Grandparents who their mother has not spoken to in fifteen years (over something stupid) and that they have never seen before. There, they discover a shocking secret.

Where to begin?

  1. A lot of people might not, but I accepted the idea that the children have never seen even a photo of their grandparents before as a basic premise of the film. As ridiculous as the idea might seem.
  2. The rapping white kid? Not funny (Okay the last rap was a little funny). I’d want to slap him upside the head even if he was Black. Misogynist lyrics and attitudes–not cool, not when anyone does it. I don’t care how many Black guys you bump fists with or how many “hos” and “bitches” you add to the verse. And this white kid had no flow whatsoever, plus T-Diamond Stylus is a stupid name. Co-opting and appropriation of Black culture/arts will never be a good look, whites. For the record.
  3. What was the mom even mad about??? One, white people have illegitimate anger issues; deny them even something simple and they go crazy because they’re used to getting what they want when they want it, even using violence to get it–WHITE PRIVILEGE. Two, her parents were actually right and they only concerned for her. Three, she’s so mad she never even showed her kids a picture of her parents?
  4. Having involuntarily lived with someone who needed serious care for his mental health and oftentimes neglected it on purpose, you can imagine why The Visit was disturbing for me.
  5. Becca, the young woman in the film, seemed more sad than angry over their father abandoning them yet she gets the whole “Don’t hold onto anger” anecdote from her mom. The movie nears its ends with Becca showing the glowing, nostalgic video footage of their now absentee father playing with them when they were little. As a man directing this film, at a glance, Shyamalan is potentially sending the message that Becca’s earlier refusal to forgive her father and use the footage in her movie was misguided. The guy coldly abandoned her and her family for another and Becca’s refusal to remember him fondly and warmly suspiciously and silently transforms into the same glowing footage she refused to include in her film near the end. And right after a conversation about holding onto anger when the situation between Becca and her father versus that of her mother and her mother’s parents wasn’t remotely analogous. Has Becca forgiven her father? Was her resolve to see his actions for what they were and her own feelings that weak? Or has she imply accepted their past together along with his abrupt and callous departure? The whole situation rubbed me wrong, as someone whose sperm donor was absent until I was a teenager, told my mother that me and my twin were her children alone, and only showed his face because he expected me to take care of him after he aged, as he had used women this way his entire life and has like ten kids. The whole thing sends a bad message that might work for girls on that patriarchal stuff or all into forgiveness regardless of the situation but it didn’t work for me.

In summary, aimless white anger, the obnoxious rapping white kid, the “grandparents”, and that empty slice-of-life crap on Becca and her experiences with bye-bye daddy are the things that stood out the most to me. And that plot twist was the sickest I’ve seen in a long time.

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