This time last year I attended a local Writing Group (not my own and yes I was being nosey) and they challenged their members to write a Halloween story. I remember the group members having a lengthy discussion about how their stories were not to incorporate comedy. Other members were arguing that they wanted to bring in comedy while others argued that it would ruin the scary theme of horror. Others were saying that writers should take risk. It became quite a heated discussion. After watching ‘The Visit’ I’m now of the mind that bringing in comedy to horror is successful and thoroughly enjoyable.
My boyfriend and I haven’t been out on our own for a while, so we decided that we would go to a Cinema just outside of the town. The decision was that we wanted to watch some sort of horror or psychological thriller on the big screen. Now please don’t be mistaken that I’m some sort of blood and guts kind of girl. Far from it actually. This new horror and psychological film watching seems to be a whole new phase for me. If you’d known me two years ago, I was not really into watching tv/films and would on the odd occasion watch the odd true move or comedy. However, lately it seems to have changed. If I’m not shouting “Kill them” or “Omg I can’t watch it.” Then the film doesn’t seem to keep my attention.
I will not fib when I say that from the outset of being faced with the big screen. I was nervous as I waited to be sat on the edge of my seat or be telling my boyfriend that I really felt like I had to leave. I sat with my hot-dog and bottle of water. (By the way the hot dog was £5.50!!!! A trip to the cinema is becoming ridiculously expensive which is a shame) And the film began. I looked over at my boyfriend. “Are you sure this is a horror?” I whispered.
The film is filmed in documentary style and opens up with the mother of the two children Becca and Tyler being interviewed. She talks about how she hasn’t seen her parents for twenty years because when she was nineteen she rebelled and ran away from them. She is an entertaining and bubbly character but there is an air of mystery as to the reasons for the argument. She tells the children that they are to visit her parents for the week. The lighting is bright and there is no scary music. But don’t let the beginning fool you, all of that is yet to come as the children spend a week with their grandparents.
As the week unfolds the children film the antics of the week. You see the ordinary them spending time with their grandparents laughing and joking, them unpacking their suitcases, playing laughing and joking. But also glimpses of the woodshed, the scary music, sharp knives, the spinning of the camera as they are chased and clips that something isn’t quite right with their grandparents. Something isn’t right from the outset as their Pop Pops tells them that they mustn’t come out of their room after 9.30. In typical horror style there are door creaks and strange goings on that build suspense.
Sat behind my boyfriend and myself there were two burly men who at one point shouted “Oh shit” especially when the Nana’s face popped up right in front of the screen. It’s a traditional horror tactic that you know is coming but you still will jump and your adrenaline pumps through your body. One reason why watching a horror on the big screen is more successful than perhaps watching on your tv at home – the noise is louder and you become fully immersed. Some films are just made for the cinema. However, after the “Oh shit” and jumps from the audience. The audience would then implode into fits of laughter – as the film would then switch to comedy.
‘The Visit’ really is the film that gets you on the edge of your seat, hide your eyes behind your hands but then switch rapidly to the opposite reaction – a belly laugh. Oh and it has an amazing twist to the tale that you just won’t see coming and I’m not going to spoil by filling you in on it. For a person like me who can drift off very quickly if bored it is the ideal film. Completely engaging and leaves you wondering “what next” as you try to piece it together. And because of the comedy – you do not leave the cinema quaking. It is a good choice and I recommend that people go and watch it while it is still on at the cinema.