Ah M. Night Shyamalan, always nice to see some things just never bloody change. Of course he can thank his lucky stars that he hooked up with Jason Blum at Blumhouse Studios, who constricted the egomaniacal director with a tiny budget and the greatest tool for a budget horror director: found freaking footage.
So we have two kids, Becca and Tyler, going to visit their estranged grandparents after the elderly had contacted their mother after 15 years of silence. Turns out the mom had left home on very bad terms, so Becca wants to make a documentary about bringing the whole family back together. Hence our film’s flimsy found footage premise. Of course when the kids get there, the grandparents aren’t acting quite so normal…and go way beyond the typical signs of dementia.
See at night, the grandmother prefers to run around naked and projectile vomit while the grandfather has a nasty habit of hiding his incontinence while dealing with serious paranoid schizophrenia. All creepy occurrences on their own, but made slightly scary by the fact they’re endangering kids.
Well I say “slightly scary,” it’s really not. It’s honestly kind of a few jump scares towards the end, and a few bits of awkward comedy in the beginning. You get a chuckle or two sometimes, but most of it can get groan inducing. Like the little white boy rapping everywhere. The first time it was “cute”, the second and third time were trying my limited patience as he replaced cuss words with names of pop singers…it’s more annoying than it sounds.
The girl at least isn’t annoying, and she at least has enough charisma to carry on to other films. Unfortunately, M. Night doesn’t give these kids a whole lot to do except be weirded out by their increasingly dangerous grandparents. And of course once you realize that each kid could get out of their situation by easily overpowering their geriatric tormentors then all tension zips away like a balloon losing all its air.
There is at least a decent twist towards the end…I mean you can call it from the beginning of the film, but at least it’s done rather well if a little predictable. But this is a horror film with hardly any tension, and that’s more or less a death knell for this kind of movie. And without wishing to spoil anything, the climax of the film involves a character smothering a filthy diaper into the face of another character…that’s it. Granted it’s part of the build up for a pretty weak character flaw being overcome.
People are grading Shyamalan on a steep curbed these days after we have suffered through Lady in the Water, The Village, The Happrning, The Last Airbender, Devil, and After Earth. M. Night was basically a fluke who got very lucky with Unbreakable and Sixth Sense, and quickly revealed that he’s out of damn tricks. Instead of the usual projectile diarrhea, we got a really smelly fart instead. Didn’t hate this film, but this film is a pubic hair from Some Ol Bullshit, so it’s a LOW…
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