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trama del film the visit

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M. Night Shyamalan had his heyday almost 20 years ago. He leapt out of the gate with such confidence he became a champion instantly. And then...something went awry. He became embarrassingly self-serious, his films drowning in pretension and strained allegories. His famous twists felt like a director attempting to re-create the triumph of " The Sixth Sense ," where the twist of the film was so successfully withheld from audiences that people went back to see the film again and again. But now, here comes " The Visit ," a film so purely entertaining that you almost forget how scary it is. With all its terror, "The Visit" is an extremely funny film. 

There are too many horror cliches to even list ("gotcha" scares, dark basements, frightened children, mysterious sounds at night, no cellphone reception), but the main cliche is that it is a "found footage" film, a style already wrung dry. But Shyamalan injects adrenaline into it, as well as a frank admission that, yes, it is a cliche, and yes, it is absurd that one would keep filming in moments of such terror, but he uses the main strength of found footage: we are trapped by the perspective of the person holding the camera. Withhold visual information, lull the audience into safety, then turn the camera, and OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT? 

"The Visit" starts quietly, with Mom ( Kathryn Hahn ) talking to the camera about running away from home when she was 19: her parents disapproved of her boyfriend. She had two kids with this man who recently left them all for someone new. Mom has a brave demeanor, and funny, too, referring to her kids as "brats" but with mama-bear affection. Her parents cut ties with her, but now they have reached out  from their snowy isolated farm and want to know their grandchildren. Mom packs the two kids off on a train for a visit.

Shyamalan breaks up the found footage with still shots of snowy ranks of trees, blazing sunsets, sunrise falling on a stack of logs. There are gigantic blood-red chapter markers: "TUESDAY MORNING", etc. These choices launch us into the overblown operatic horror style while commenting on it at the same time. It ratchets up the dread.

Becca ( Olivia DeJonge ) and Tyler ( Ed Oxenbould ) want to make a film about their mother's lost childhood home, a place they know well from all of her stories. Becca has done her homework about film-making, and instructs her younger brother about "frames" and "mise-en-scène." Tyler, an appealing gregarious kid, keeps stealing the camera to film the inside of his mouth and his improvised raps. Becca sternly reminds him to focus. 

The kids are happy to meet their grandparents. They are worried about the effect their grandparents' rejection had on their mother (similar to Cole's worry about his mother's unfinished business with her own parent in "The Sixth Sense"). Becca uses a fairy-tale word to explain what she wants their film to do — it will be an "elixir" to bring home to Mom. 

Nana ( Deanna Dunagan ), at first glance, is a Grandma out of a storybook, with a grey bun, an apron, and muffins coming out of the oven every hour. Pop Pop ( Peter McRobbie ) is a taciturn farmer who reminds the kids constantly that he and Nana are "old." 

But almost immediately, things get crazy. What is Pop Pop doing out in the barn all the time? Why does Nana ask Becca to clean the oven, insisting that she crawl all the way in ? What are those weird sounds at night from outside their bedroom door? They have a couple of Skype calls with Mom, and she reassures them their grandparents are "weird" but they're also old, and old people are sometimes cranky, sometimes paranoid. 

As the weirdness intensifies, Becca and Tyler's film evolves from an origin-story documentary to a mystery-solving investigation. They sneak the camera into the barn, underneath the house, they place it on a cabinet in the living room overnight, hoping to get a glimpse of what happens downstairs after they go to bed. What they see is more than they (and we) bargained for.

Dunagan and McRobbie play their roles with a melodramatic relish, entering into the fairy-tale world of the film. And the kids are great, funny and distinct. Tyler informs his sister that he wants to stop swearing so much, and instead will say the names of female pop singers. The joke is one that never gets old. He falls, and screams, "Sarah McLachlan!" When terrified, he whispers to himself, " Katy Perry ... " Tyler, filming his sister, asks her why she never looks in the mirror. "Your sweater is on backwards." As he grills her, he zooms in on her, keeping her face off-center, blurry grey-trunked trees filling most of the screen. The blur is the mystery around them. Cinematographer Maryse Alberti creates the illusion that the film is being made by kids, but also avoids the nauseating hand-held stuff that dogs the found-footage style.

When the twist comes, and you knew it was coming because Shyamalan is the director, it legitimately shocks. Maybe not as much as "The Sixth Sense" twist, but it is damn close. (The audience I saw it with gasped and some people screamed in terror.) There are references to " Halloween ", "Psycho" (Nana in a rocking chair seen from behind), and, of course, " Paranormal Activity "; the kids have seen a lot of movies, understand the tropes and try to recreate them themselves. 

"The Visit" represents Shyamalan cutting loose, lightening up, reveling in the improvisational behavior of the kids, their jokes, their bickering, their closeness. Horror is very close to comedy. Screams of terror often dissolve into hysterical laughter, and he uses that emotional dovetail, its tension and catharsis, in almost every scene. The film is ridiculous  on so many levels, the story playing out like the most monstrous version of Hansel & Gretel imaginable, and in that context, "ridiculous" is the highest possible praise.

Sheila O'Malley

Sheila O'Malley

Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .

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The Visit movie poster

The Visit (2015)

Rated PG-13 disturbing thematic material including terror, violence and some nudity, and for brief language

Kathryn Hahn as Mother

Ed Oxenbould as Tyler Jamison

Benjamin Kanes as Dad

Peter McRobbie as Pop-Pop

Olivia DeJonge as Rebecca Jamison

Deanna Dunagan as Nana

  • M. Night Shyamalan


  • Maryse Alberti
  • Luke Franco Ciarrocch

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trama del film the visit

Film 2015 | Horror , V.M. 14 94 min. Dettagli 

Regia di M. Night Shyamalan . Un film Da vedere 2015 con Olivia DeJonge , Ed Oxenbould , Deanna Dunagan , Peter McRobbie , Kathryn Hahn . Cast completo Titolo originale: The Visit . Genere Horror , - USA , 2015 , durata 94 minuti. Uscita cinema giovedì 26 novembre 2015 distribuito da Universal Pictures . Consigli per la visione di bambini e ragazzi: V.M. 14 - MYmo net ro 3,09 su 5 recensioni tra critica , pubblico e dizionari.

Ultimo aggiornamento venerdì 3 aprile 2020

The Visit è disponibile a Noleggio e in Digital Download su TROVA STREAMING e in DVD e Blu-Ray su e su . Compra subito

La quindicenne Rebecca raccoglie in video le confidenze della mamma, che racconta come a 19 anni si sia innamorata, contro il volere dei genitori, di un insegnante. Qualcosa di grave ha causato una rottura permanente con i suoi che solo ora, dopo 15 anni, l'hanno rintracciata e hanno espresso il desiderio di vedere i due nipoti, Rebecca e il tredicenne Tyler. I ragazzi sono d'accordo e quindi la mamma, lasciata dal marito e con un nuovo compagno, ne approfitterà per andare a divertirsi con lui in una breve crociera. Spiega a Rebecca che i suoi sono persone gentili e apprezzate: fanno anche volontariato in ospedale. Tutto questo è solo l'inizio di un documentario amatoriale che Rebecca intende girare sulla visita ai nonni, che non ha mai visto. Vorrebbe conoscere il motivo della rottura dei rapporti, ma la mamma non glielo dice: saranno i nonni, se riterranno, a dirlo ai nipoti. La mamma porta i figli sino alla stazione e li imbarca sul treno per Masonville, Pennsylvania: all'arrivo vengono accolti dai nonni presso i quali resteranno per una settimana. I nonni si rivelano gentili e li portano nella loro grande casa, tra i boschi e la neve. Per i ragazzi è un mondo nuovo e affascinante, da scoprire. Ma ben presto sotto la superficie della calorosa accoglienza si aprono le crepe prodotte da comportamenti strani e inquietanti che, giorno dopo giorno, mettono i ragazzi alle prese con una situazione misteriosa e pericolosa. Shyamalan ci ha abituato a meccanismi narrativi costruiti con grande attenzione ai dettagli e a colpi di scena fulminanti, a partire dal film che l'ha reso famoso, The Sixth Sense - Il sesto senso . Con il passare degli anni e dei film questa lucidità si è un po' appannata anche forse per il legittimo desiderio di cambiare e per l'ambizione - a volte mal riposta - che il successo ha alimentato. Dopo tanto girovagare e diversi film non sempre all'altezza delle sue capacità, Shyamalan ritorna all'horror in modo quasi umile, con un film a basso budget, dimostrando d'essere ancora capace, se concentrato sul pezzo, di intrattenere e inquietare. Usa il found footage, un format ormai più che abusato, ma lo fa in modo sapiente: Rebecca rappresenta il regista, teorizza il documentario che sta girando e affida al fratello una seconda telecamera, facendolo così diventare una sorta di regista della seconda unità e ampliando i punti di vista. L'utilizzo delle immagini di due telecamere consente così di ovviare in modo efficiente, grazie al montaggio, alle ristrettezze più evidenti del format. Come consuetudine in questo genere di film realizzati come se fossero composti dal montaggio di riprese "vere", l'inizio è su toni allegri e scanzonati per introdurre un po' alla volta gli elementi perturbanti. In questo caso, il primo accenno è sottilmente ambiguo: una ripresa da lontano, effettuata da Tyler, con il nonno che, misteriosamente nei pressi di un capanno, non risponde al saluto del ragazzo. Ciò che avviene successivamente è, sulle prime, più bizzarro che pauroso, come lo stranissimo gioco a nascondino sotto la casa, capace di instillare una notevole inquietudine. Ma tutti gli avvenimenti strani che via via si susseguono sono caratterizzati da un certo tasso di imprevedibilità non tanto per il fatto di accadere quanto nelle loro modalità, diverse da quelle che ci si potrebbe aspettare anche in un film horror. Gli avvenimenti sono così insoliti e inseriti in un quadro realistico che i ragazzi - provenienti da una famiglia disgregata ma tutto sommato felice - sono quasi incapaci di riconoscerli come tali e, spinti dal desiderio di ricondurre ogni stranezza all'interno del tranquillo e confortevole alveo della normalità, prendono atto ogni volta delle spiegazioni che vengono loro fornite e lasciano strisciare pian piano l'inquietudine dentro la normalità. Shyamalan usa cliché tipici dell'horror, ma lo fa con convinzione, introducendo lo spettatore dentro la storia e coinvolgendolo - anche con un buon approfondimento psicologico dei personaggi, soprattutto i ragazzi - per poi spaventarlo. Talvolta giocando contro le aspettative, come nel caso del forno, oggetto simbolo che evidenzia come in effetti questo film sia in sostanza un aggiornamento horror della tradizione fiabesca. Il colpo di scena, inaspettato in puro stile Shyamalan, arriva forse un po' troppo presto e incanala il film su binari più normali pur se la tensione si mantiene comunque alta e certi momenti, come il tesissimo gioco di società, siano di alta scuola. Non manca poi di emergere un significato morale non banale. Complessivamente bravo il cast con Olivia DeJonge in evidenza e Deanna Dunagan capace di giocare più registri in chiave horror. Ma anche Peter McRobbie, nel ruolo del nonno, se la cava molto bene. 

Due fratellini vanno a trovare i nonni … dei nonni molto particolari. Shyamalan sempre e comunque umile nei suoi film, forse per questo le grandi produzioni gli fanno così male. Torna all’inventiva nell’ordinario, torna a sconvolgere, non tanto dal punto di vista concettuale, quanto per quel che concerne la quotidianità e innocenza.

Nonostante alcune critiche l'abbiano additato come horror non horror, a me questo film ibrido è molto piaciuto. A partire dall'atmosfera misteriosa, e proseguendo per tutte le varie stranezze che la storia propone, in un climax di demoniacità che si dipinge intorno a questi nonni apparentemente normali. Ho apprezzato meno il personaggio della madre dei ragazzi, improbabile e svalvolato.

Da sempre migliore come regista che come sceneggiatore, Shyamalan ritorna all’horror dopo i clamorosi fallimenti, sia in termini di successo di pubblico che di critica, di film come The Lady in the Water, L’ultimo dominatore dell’aria e, in particolare, After Earth. Proprio grazie ai proventi derivati da quest’ultimo si auto produce, con la sua casa di produzione Blinding [...] Vai alla recensione »

Torna sul grande schermo, M. Night Shyamalan, regista di origine indiane che a cavallo tra gli anni 90 ed i primi 2000 sfornò una serie di titoli davvero niente male come Il Sesto Senso, Unbreakable, Signs e che lo additarono come il prossimo Steven Spielberg per fotografia, ambientazioni e capacità di suspence nel pubblico. Purtroppo queste promesse non furono mantenute.

Premetto che sono, da sempre, un amante di M. Night Shyamalan. Ho adorato ed adoro tuttora IL SESTO SENSO, LADY IN THE WATER e E VENNE IL GIORNO; mi è piaciuto SIGNS; ed i suoi film che preferisco sono UNBREAKABLE - IL PREDESTINATO e THE VILLAGE, che reputo due Capolavori. Ovviamente, anche un amante, come me, di questo regista, non può non provare delusione [...] Vai alla recensione »

Comincia in maniera un po' scanzonata,proseguendo sulla stessa falsariga:i bambini non sembrano prendere troppo sul serio ciò che succede. Lo spettatore è indotto ad adeguarsi. Ma sì,due nonnetti buffi ed originali,che vuoi che sia, sebbene le sequenze che mettono inquietudine non manchino,tra una corsa a carponi sulla sabbia e un modo un po' sinistro [...] Vai alla recensione »

Sono in sala, con il solito cilindro di popcorn e con il dolce e fresco bicchiere di pepsi nelle mani. Sono entrato in quella sala per due motivi. Il primo motivo è stato scoprire che il film che stavo per gustare, era stato diretto e scritto da Shyamalan. Un regista che mi ha stupito altre volte come con la sua grandissima opera, Il sesto senso. Il secondo motivo, quello che in verità mi ha spinto [...] Vai alla recensione »

Sono andato al cinema a vedere questo film già prevenuto per aver letto alcune recensioni e commenti negativi e invece forse proprio per questo il film non mi è dispiaciuto ed è meglio di quanto si pensi. Il film alterna momenti tranquilli quasi al limite del comico a momenti di tensione e paura grazie anche a qualche jumpscare e l'utilizzo della telecamera varia da momenti [...] Vai alla recensione »

The Visit è il nuovo gioiellino diretto e scritto da M. Night Shyamalan, regista americano di origine indiana diventato famoso nel 1999 grazie a The Sixth Sense - Il sesto senso, che contiene forse uno dei colpi di scena più potenti dell’intera storia del cinema. Dopo gli ultimi flop che sembravano aver sancito la definitiva caduta del regista, ovvero L’ultimo dominatore dell&rsquo [...] Vai alla recensione »

Sono contrario a catalogare per forza un film in un genere , horror , thriller etc , nel sesto senso non abbiamo scene splatter ma abbiamo scene macabre colpi di scena ansia sussulti fantasmi quello è un horror comunque che ha lasciato il segno appunto per originalità struttura e colpi di scena  Qui non c'è lo splatter e non ci sono i fantasmi ma è un horror , [...] Vai alla recensione »

M.Night Shyamalan è regista che, fin da"The Sixt Sense"dà l'impressione di voler significare molto , nei e con i suoi film: talora la polisemia delle opere e dei singoli elementi in esser presenti sconcerta, in questo senso.  Per"The visit", la costruzione è a specchi(quelli dei video girati dalla sorella maggiore, in primis), ma anche a scatole cinesi(primo [...] Vai alla recensione »

Gli adolescenti Becca (Olivia DeJonge) e suo fratello Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), vengono mandati dalla mamma (Kathryn Hahn) a casa dei nonni che non hanno mai conosciuto, per una vacanza di una settimana nella loro fattoria. Ben presto la convivenza con Nana (Deanna Dunagan) e Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) diventerà sempre più problematica a causa degli inquietanti comportamenti dei due anziani. [...] Vai alla recensione »

Il film nel complesso è carino; gli attori sono bravi (specialmente l'anziana), l'ambientazione è adatta al film e, considerando che è un thriller psicologico, è oppressiva e inquietante. Unica piccola pecca la trama che, pur partendo da un ottimo punto, è sviluppata un po' male, specialmente alcune parti che sembrano essere state messe lì giusto per allungare il film.

Shyamalan firma un'opera decisamente più divertente delle ultime da lui realizzate, anche se, alla fine della visione, rimane un pò di amarezza per quello che avrebbe potuto essere (e non è) un capolavoro low budget, sullo stile del primo "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" per intenderci. Il regista de "Il sesto senso" non resiste alla moda del found-footage, [...] Vai alla recensione »

La criminologia moderna ha indagato spesso su crimini riguardanti vecchi carcerieri e bambini troppo sviluppati (il caso ad es. di Natasha Kampus ci porta ad un' "Austria infelix", diversa dallo stereotipo turistico). Il regista di E VERRA' IL GIORNO, Night Shyamalan, parte probabilmente da episodi di cronaca simili per questo THE VISIT, la cui robusta struttura narrativa rinvia ad [...] Vai alla recensione »

"THe Visit"(M.Niight Shyamalan., autore totale, di soeggetto, sceneggiatura, coproduttore, 2015)è in parte un ritorno alle origini("The Sixt Sense", "Signs", "The VIllage")espolrando però il"continente follia". Causa difficoltà di rapporti con la madre, che ha un nuovo compagno(e che aveva avuto contrasti con la propria madre, all'ep [...] Vai alla recensione »

Questo Shymalian, all inizio, riprende -in tutti i sensi- un piccolo catalogo di ossessioni postmoderne, ovverosia il cinema fatto in casa,e soprattutto la mania di filmare noi stessi cme anche il mondo che ci circonda: Nella speranza di carpire e capire, ma anche e soprattutto, di metterci in evidenza, alla ricerca dei waarholiani quindici minuti di celebrita- ma questo, probabilmente, non appare [...] Vai alla recensione »

La quindicenne Rebecca, aspirante regista, filma la madre che racconta la sua storia: quando aveva diciannove anni è scappata di casa con un uomo molto più grande di lei, sfuggendo così dalla disapprovazione dei suoi genitori, che da allora non ha mai più visto. Ma l’uomo, padre di Rebecca e del fratello minore Tyler, li ha poi abbandonati.

ALLERTA SPOILER C'è stato un periodo in cui Shyamalan si era dimostrato un maestro del macro-genere thriller, contaminandolo con sfumature horror, psicologiche e fantasy. Poi c'è stata una fase calante nella sua produzione artistica, in parte perchè proprio la produzione dei film non era più indipendente. Con The visit S.

Come film mi è abbastanza piaciuto, e tre stelle mi sembra il voto più adatto (per me equivale al 7 ). Quello che rende questo film, un buon film, è specialmente il finale. E' stata una bella sorpresa, non mi sarei mai aspettata che i due nonni erano in realtà due pazzi scappati dal manicomio e che avevano ucciso i veri nonni dei ragazzini e preso il loro posto.

Molti ingredienti sono stati rimescolati dal regista nella realizzazione di questo film: il labirinto di Shining prende la forma di un intrico di cunicoli sotto la casa dove si compiono gli eventi, a più riprese affiora il ricordo delle favole dei Grimm, ed in particolare di Hansel e Gretel. Del resto, proprio come nella favola tedesca, i protagonisti sono un fratello ed una sorella.

I due giovanissimi protagonisti del film sono due adolescenti che reclamano il diritto ad avere dei nonni,che compensino l'affetto perduto di un padre assente e di una madre che pur avendoli amorevolmente cresciuti da sola non disdegna di prendersi una breve vacanza per distendersi e pensare un po a sè. L'unico collegamento è una web-cam e una cinepresa portatile,grazie alle quali possono fare un reportage [...] Vai alla recensione »

Una giovane coppia di fratelli in visita dai nonni materni mai conosciuti, e che nascondono qualche segreto. Certamente non un horror canonico, e forse proprio per questo dotato di grande fascino. Inquieta (parecchio), ma senza spaventare. Azzeccatissima la scelta del found footage, che a mio parere rende il tutto più realistico e quindi sinistro.

#TheVisit di M. Night Shyamalan è un ottimo thriller/horror (60%/40%) sapientemente costruito in maniera anche innovativa dal regista di Signs e del Sesto Senso. Tuttavia, lascia la sensazione di incompiutezza nel preparare lo spettatore,per tutta la durata della proiezione,alla rivelazione di un segreto molto più oscuro e torbido di quello che effettivamente si rivela celarsi dietro la sgangherata [...] Vai alla recensione »

“Quando un regista dirige un film usando la ripresa a mano è perché ha finito le idee”. A questa regola aurea che vale pedissequamente dopo “The Blair Witch Project” (unica eccezione avuta solo da sua maestà Steven Spielberg con “Super 8”) non scampa il povero M. Night Shyamalan che non indovina più una pellicola dai tempi della triade “The Village”, “Unbreakable” e “il Sesto Senso”.

Seriamente: può un film particolarmente bello, riuscito e diventato cult come "Il sesto senso" fare di un regista un guru visionario da adorare incodizionatamente anche quando sforna delle autentiche amenità? Perchè a questo punto i casi sono due: o è stato un gran colpo di culo oppure "Il sesto senso" a M.

In visita dai nonni materni che non hanno mai conosciuto, Tyler e Becca sono due adolescenti che hanno da tempo perso i contatti col padre e vivono con una madre single che li ha cresciuti senza l'aiuto di nessuno. Dopo la calorosa accoglienza degli anziani parenti però, vengono allarmati dal loro strano ed eccentrico comportamento e dall'avvertenza di non uscire dalla loro stanza [...] Vai alla recensione »

L'idea di far filmare ai due simpaticissimi nipotini la realtà vissuta per la durata del loro soggiorno sarebbe stata un'ottima trovata se il reportage avesse avuto un andamento da thriller più che da ripresa amatoriale. Così com'è, lo spettatore ride di fronte al loro senso dell'umorismo e alla loro vivace intelligenza ma non si spaventa mai.

Parto immediatamente dal presupposto che , se si vuole pubblicizzare un film come horror , bisogna che ci sia come principale componente un minimo di suspence destinata a tramutarsi in un reale spavento , altrimenti si può catalogare una pellicola come semplice commedia-avventura o al massimo thriller, tanto per ( in questo specifico caso ) essere "buoni".

The visit non e' un capolavoro. Non e' nemmeno un filmaccio e nemmeno un film comune agli altri. Il regista qui dopo alcuni filmacci e flop incredibili, torna a realizzare un buon film che seppur presenta i propri difetti, riesce ad inquietare e a divertire anche. Personalmente trovo che se ci si immedesima nei due fratellini protagonisti della  vicenda, si possa finire il film abbastanza [...] Vai alla recensione »

Grande ritorno del genio Shyamalan. Come genere lo definirei commedia/thriller/horror. Alziamo la media dei voti!!

Già dopo mezz'ora mi veniva voglia di strapparmi gli occhi. film scontato e a tratti patetico. Non lo si può affatto definire horror, guardate qualsiasi cosa tranne questa. Sottolineo ciò che più di ogni altra cosa mi ha infastidito: - la scena in cui la nonna trova la telecamera (quella sottospecie di jumpscare in cui lei compare all'improvviso dopo un'ora [...] Vai alla recensione »

Chiarendo subito il fatto che non è un horror, ma un thriller, era da un po' che non vedevo un buon film, come questo, di questo genere; niente di nuovo nella storia, però portata avanti bene e con un sacco di trovate interessanti. Peccato per la platea ignorante, ma ormai mi sembra che l'andazzo di questi tempi sia quello!

Questo film e sopravvalutato. Personalmente mi è risultato parecchio monotono e mi e sembrato strutturalmente stupido ed inutile.

Un grande horror firmato M.N.Shyamalan. Dopo il Sesto Senso non aveva più girato dei veri horror sconfinando nel fantascientifico o nel trascendente. Pur apprezzando alcuni di questi lavori qui torna alle origini. E torna alla grande.


un horror/thriller ben fatto

Noiosissimo... mi sono sforzato a più tappe per tentare di vederlo. La sceneggiatura è un colabrodo per tante ragioni, le principali non posso elencarvele per non fare spoiler. Comunque se volete fare un found footage usate delle telecamere che si usano veramente nei filmati amatoriali, la qualità è fin troppo elevata, per quanto digitale.

Tolto il colpo di scena carino che lascia spiazzati, tutto il resto è da buttare. E basta con i film basati su riprese, ridicolo vedere che riprendono anche quando rischiano di morire...Shyamalan, è da un pò che non ci fai + sognare... ( se non dormendo a questo film )

"niente è più sfuggente dell'ovvio" diceva l'Holmes di Downey Jr. Non c'è miglior frase che inquadri il film. Shyamalan ha dato l'ennesima sfumatura al genere, costruendo di fatto un horror pop e cioè, una campionatura ben fatta tra ciò che è stato già visto e ciò che è riuscito ad aggiungere di suo.

Finalmente in questo periodo non abbiamo più quei film horror senza senso, tutti con gli stessi temi stupidi senza senso e molto ripetitivi. Questa volta no, perché abbiamo una storia molto interessante, con due bambine che vanno in vacanza dai loro nonni che sembrano molto adorabili e coccolosi, ed invece si scopre che propio non lo sono.

Film senza emozione, lento e prevedibile. Shyamalan si è fatto tentare dalla moda del film in prima senza riuscirci. Unica nota "simpatica" l'interpretazione del fratello della protagonista che ogni tanto estorce un sorriso in un'ora e mezza di noia. Se questo è un horror allora American Pie è un porno!!

Parto subito col dire che questo film di horror non ha praticamente nulla, sarebbe stato meglio definirlo "Trash" sicuramente un ottimo film da vedere in compagnia di amici per farsi due risate, sulla comicità di questo film non c'è quasi nulla da dire, scene molto simpatiche e personaggi ben azzeccati ma nulla di più

Molto marketing per nulla. Un'ora e mezza in attesa che accadesse qualcosa. Ragazzino tredicenne insopportabile con le sue arie da uomo fatto e sorella saggia al seguito, madre assurda che in 15 anni di vita dei figli non mostra loro neanche una foto dei nonni. Lento e pesante e soprattutto, tolta la scena di tensione finale, niente horror.

Il film ha molti lati positivi, come le inquadrature in stile Cloverfield che rendono tutto ancora più realistico, il colpo di scena finale e la sua unicità. Ha anche delle pecche come i soliti clichè tipici degli horror, ma è più che sufficiente. Voto 6.5/10

Inutile prodotto del quale se ne poteva fare a meno. La lenta ma constante discesa nel mediocre di questo regista non è più una novità. Decisamente da evitare

Film senza grandi pretese (e budget), svolge egregiamente il suo lavoro. Alcune scene sono ben riuscite, ottima  l'interpretazione della signora, qualcosa forse da sistemare.... Ma stiamo parlando di sottigliezze. Fosse stato un film che pretendeva di rivoluzionare la storia del cinema ci saremmo fatti una grossa risata. Qui siamo nel  campo del puro intrattenimento.

Una mamma manda i suoi due ragazzi a visitare i suoi genitori che non vede da quindici anni, ma quelli, non sono i loro nonni...Una storia raccontata attraverso il sistema del falso documentario che dopo cinque minuti ne avresti già abbastanza, il genere horror contaminato dal sistema informatico ultramoderno servito in musica Rap, ma vai avanti lo stesso e man mano ti abitui e segui il racconto [...] Vai alla recensione »


Film semplice ma molto inquietante. Mi è piaciuto tantissimo.

Due ragazzini vanno, in una fattoria, a far visita ai nonni, mai conosciuti prima; di notte, però, accadono strane cose. Hansel & Gretel rivisitato in una sorta di Paranormal Activity. Il budget ridotto ci restituisce un M. Night Shyamalan quasi ai livelli del Sesto Senso, con un occhio a Hitchcock e senza far mancare il suo spiazzante colpo di scena.

Il regista del "Sesto senso", dopo una serie di infortuni commerciali, torna a una storia horror con sorpresa, girata nello stile paradocumentarlo in voga da anni. Due adolescenti si filmano mentre trascorrono una settimana coi nonni, che vedono per la prima volta: i due vecchietti, da subito, sembrano insolitamente sinistri. Semplice e impeccabile, ovviamente con toni da fiaba e da apologo malinconico [...] Vai alla recensione »

Dai tempi gloriosi di Il sesto senso, Unbreakable e Signs, quando gli studios facevano a botte per lavorare con lui, e dopo che la sua love story con l'industria si è conclusa con un flop di troppo, Lady in the Water, e l'infelice idea di autorizzare un libro su quell'esperienza, Man Who Heard Voices, M. Night Shyamalan esiste in uno strano purgatorio del cinema hollywoodiano, inspiegabilmente esiliato [...] Vai alla recensione »

Dopo due kolossal sbagliati e frustranti, L'ultimo dominatore dell'aria e After Earth, l'ex enfant prodlige de Il sesto senso (lo diresse a 28 anni) M. Night Shyamalan torna bambino. Ed ecco un found footage movie da "soli" 5 milioni (produce il geniale Jason Blum di Paranormal Activity) in cui due adolescenti vanno a trovare in campagna i nonni mai visti prima.

La quindicenne Rebecca raccoglie in video le confidenze della mamma, che racconta come a 19 anni si sia innamorata, contro il volere dei genitori, di un insegnante. Qualcosa di grave ha causato una rottura permanente con i suoi che solo ora, dopo 15 anni, [...] Continua »

Lo sceneggiatore, regista e produttore M. Night Shyamalan (Il Sesto Senso, Signs e Unbreakable - Il predestinato) torna alle sue origini con The Visit, horror low budget (soli 5 milioni di dollari) di cui parla in questa video intervista in esclusiva [...] Continua »

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The Ending Of The Visit Explained

The Visit M. Night Shyamalan Olivia DeJonge Deanna Dunagan

Contains spoilers for  The Visit

M. Night Shyamalan is notorious for using dramatic twists towards the endings of his films, some of which are pulled off perfectly and add an extra layer of depth to a sprawling story (hello, Split ). Some of the director's other offerings simply keep the audience on their toes rather than having any extra subtext or hidden meaning. Shyamalan's 2015 found-footage horror-comedy  The Visit , which he wrote and directed, definitely fits in the latter category, aiming for style over substance.

The Visit follows 15-year-old Becca Jamison (Olivia DeJonge) and her 13-year-old brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) when they spend the week with their mother's estranged parents, who live in another town. Loretta (played by WandaVision 's Kathryn Hahn ) never explained to her children why she separated herself away from her parents, but clearly hopes the weekend could help bring the family back together.

Although The Visit occasionally toys with themes of abandonment and fear of the unknown, it wasn't particularly well-received by critics on its initial release, as many struggled with its bizarre comedic tone in the found-footage style. So, after Tyler and his camera record a number of disturbing occurrences like Nana (Deanna Dunagan) projectile-vomiting in the middle of the night and discovering "Pop Pop"'s (Peter McRobbie) mountain of used diapers, it soon becomes clear that something isn't right with the grandparents.

Here's the ending of  The Visit  explained.

The Visit's twist plays on expectations

Because Shyamalan sets up the idea of the separation between Loretta and her parents very early on — and doesn't show their faces before Becca and Tyler meet them — the film automatically creates a false sense of security. Even more so since the found-footage style restricts the use of typical exposition methods like flashbacks or other scenes which would indicate that Nana and Pop Pop aren't who they say they are. Audiences have no reason to expect that they're actually two escapees from a local psychiatric facility.

The pieces all come together once Becca discovers her  real grandparents' corpses in the basement, along with some uniforms from the psychiatric hospital. It confirms "Nana" and "Pop-Pop" escaped from the institution and murdered the Jamisons because they were a similar age, making it easy to hide their whereabouts from the authorities. And they would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids.)

However, after a video call from Loretta reveals that the pair aren't her parents, the children are forced to keep up appearances — but the unhinged duo start to taunt the siblings. Tyler in particular is forced to face his fear of germs as "Pop Pop" wipes dirty diapers in his face. The germophobia is something Shyamalan threads through Tyler's character throughout The Visit,  and the encounter with "Pop Pop" is a basic attempt of showing he's gone through some kind of trial-by-fire to get over his fears.

But the Jamison kids don't take things lying down: They fight back in vicious fashion — a subversion of yet another expectation that young teens might would wait for adults or law enforcement officers to arrive before doing away with their tormentors.

Its real message is about reconciliation

By the time Becca stabs "Nana" to death and Tyler has repeatedly slammed "Pop-Pop"'s head with the refrigerator door, their mother and the police do arrive to pick up the pieces. In a last-ditch attempt at adding an emotional undertone, Shyamalan reveals Loretta left home after a huge argument with her parents. She hit her mother, and her father hit her in return. But Loretta explains that reconciliation was always on the table if she had stopped being so stubborn and just reached out. One could take a domino-effect perspective and even say that Loretta's stubbornness about not reconnecting and her sustained distance from her parents put them in exactly the vulnerable position they needed to be for "Nana" and "Pop-Pop" to murder them. 

Loretta's confession actually mirrors something "Pop-Pop" told Tyler (before his run-in with the refrigerator door): that he and "Nana" wanted to spend one week as a normal family before dying. They should've thought about that before murdering a pair of innocent grandparents, but here we are. 

So, is The Visit  trying to say that if we don't keep our families together, they'll be replaced by imposters and terrify our children? Well, probably not. The Visit tries to deliver a message about breaking away from old habits, working through your fears, and stop being so stubborn over arguments that don't have any consequences in the long-run. Whether it actually sticks the landing on all of those points is still up for debate.

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What to Know

An earnest drama, The Visit gains much emotional power through its fine performances.

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The Visit Movie Explained Ending

The Visit Explained (Plot And Ending)

The Visit is a 2015  horror   thriller  directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It follows two siblings who visit their estranged grandparents only to discover something is very wrong with them. As the children try to uncover the truth, they are increasingly terrorized by their grandparents’ bizarre behaviour. Here’s the plot and ending of The Visit explained; spoilers ahead.

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Where To Watch?

To find where to stream any movie or series based on your country, use This Is Barry’s Where To Watch .

Oh, and if this article doesn’t answer all of your questions, drop me a comment or an FB chat message, and I’ll get you the answer .  You can find other film explanations using the search option on top of the site.

Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:

  • – The Story
  • – Plot Explained
  • – Ending Explained
  • – The Sense Of Dread
  • – Separation, Remorse, and Personal Fears
  • – Frequently Asked Questions Answered
  • – Wrap Up

What is the story of The Visit?

The Visit :What is it about?

The Visit is about two kids visiting their grandparents for the first time. They are also going there to hope and rebuild a bridge between their mom and grandparents and help their mom heal after a painful divorce. The movie is in documentary form.

The Visit is one of the most unnerving and realistic horror stories. A good thing about classic horror movies is that, after the movie ends, you can switch it off and go to bed,  knowing that you’re safe . Vampires, ghosts, and demonic powers don’t exist, and even if you are prone to these kinds of esoteric beliefs, there are safeguards. If your home is not built in an Indian burial ground and you haven’t bought any creepy-looking dolls from your local antiquary, you’re perfectly safe.

However, what about the idea of two kids spending five days with two escaped psychiatric ward patients in a remote farmhouse? Now, this is a thought that will send shivers down your spine. It’s a story that sounds not just realistic but real. It’s  something that might have happened in the past  or might happen in the future.

This is  what  The Visit  is all about . This idea, coupled with documentary-form storytelling, is why the movie is so unnerving to watch.

The Visit: Plot Explained

Loretta’s past.

As a young girl, Loretta Jamison fell in love with her high school teacher and decided to skip her hometown with him. Before leaving, she had a heated altercation with her parents and hasn’t seen them since. At the movie’s start, she is a single mom of 15-year-old Becca and 14-year-old Tyler, and she  hasn’t spoken to her parents in 15 years .

What really happened on the day Loretta left?

Loretta’s mom tries to stop her from leaving the house, and Loretta hits her mom, and her dad hits her. Soon after, her parents try to reach out to Loretta, but she refuses to take their calls, and years go by.

Meet The Grandparents

Years later, Loretta’s parents reach out to  meet their grandchildren . The grandparents are, seemingly, wholly reformed and now even help at the local psychiatric hospital. Although initially not too fond of the idea, Loretta is persuaded by the insistence of her children. While she had no intention of visiting the parents, she permitted her children to pay their grandparents a five-day visit.

At The Grandparents’

Their first meeting with Nana and Pop Pop starts on the right foot. They start getting to know each other, and other than a simple generational gap, nothing seems too strange. The only thing that seems off is that they are warned  not to leave the room after 9:30 in the evening .

The kids break this rule, and on the first night, they notice  Nana acting erratically , projectile vomiting, scratching wallpaper with her bare hands, and running around the house on all fours. Grandpa appears paranoid and hides his adult diapers in the garden shed, and the situation escalates each day.

The Visit Ending Explained: What happens in the end?

Tyler Becca mother ending explained

The ending of Visit has the kids finally showing the elderly couple to Loretta. She, completely horrified, states that  those are not her parents . The pair posing as Pop Pop and Nana are escaped psychiatric institution patients who murdered their grandparents and took their places.

The kids survive, kill their captors, and are found alive and well by their mom and the police. Becca kills Nana with a shard from the mirror, thus symbolically overcoming her fear of her reflection. Tyler kills Pop Pop by repeatedly slamming him in the head with a refrigerator door after overcoming his germaphobia and anxiety about freezing.

The Sense Of Dread

The elements of horror in this movie are just  perfectly executed . First of all, the film is shot as a documentary. Becca is an aspiring filmmaker who records the entire trip with her camera. From time to time, we see an interview of all the characters, which just serves as the perfect vessel for characterization.

No Ghouls or Cults

Another thing that evokes dread is  realism . There are no supernatural beings or demonic forces. It’s just two kids alone in a remote farmstead with two creepy, deranged people. Even in the end, when Loretta finds out what’s happening, it takes her hours to get there with the police. The scariest part is that it’s not that hard to imagine something along those lines really happening.

The  house itself is dread-inducing . The place is old and rustic. Like in The Black Phone soundproofing a room  could have prevented kids from hearing Nana rummaging around the house without a clear idea of what was happening, but this was not the case, as the old couple weren’t that capable.

The  characters  themselves  are perfectly played . Something is unnerving about Pop Pop and Nana from the very first scene. It’s the Uncanny Valley scenario where you feel that something’s off and shakes you to the core, but you have no idea what it is.

Separation, Remorse, and Personal Fears

Suspecting the grand parents

What this movie does the best is explore the  ugly side of separation, old grudges, and remorse . The main reason why kids are insistent on visiting their grandparents is out of their desire to help their mom.

They see she’s remorseful for never  working things out with her parents . In light of her failed marriage and the affair that caused it to end, she might live with the doubt that her parents were right all along. This makes her decision and altercation with her parents even worse. Reconciling when you know you were wrong is harder than forgiving the person who wronged you.

The Kids’ Perspective

There are personal fears and  traumas of the kids . Tyler, in his childish naivete, is convinced that his father left because he was disappointed in him as a son. Tyler tells Becca that he froze during one game he played, which disappointed his dad so much that he had to leave. While this sounds ridiculous to any adult (and even Becca), it’s a matter of fact to Tyler. As a result of this trauma, Tyler also developed germaphobia. In Becca’s own words, this gives him a greater sense of control.

On the other hand,  Becca refuses to look at herself in the mirror  or stand in front of the camera if she can help it. Both kids  had to overcome their fears to survive , which is a solid and clear metaphor for how these things sometimes turn out in real life.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered

The visit: what’s wrong with the grandparents who are the grandparents.

The people who hosted Becca and Tyler were runaway psychiatric hospital patients who murdered the real grandparents and took their place. Nana’s impostor (Claire) was actually responsible for murdering her children by drowning them in a well. Pop Pop’s impostor (Mitchell) wanted to give Claire a second chance at having kids / being a grandparent.

How did the imposter grandparents know about the kids’ visit?

It appears Claire and Mitchell hear the real Nana and Pop Pop brag about their grandkids’ visit. They also learned that neither the grandparents nor the kids had seen each other. The real grandparents appear to have been consulting in the same hospital Claire and Mitchell were being treated. The two crazies take this opportunity to break out, kill the real grandparents and go to the station to pick up the children.

The Visit: What is Sinmorfitellia?

Claire and Mitchell believe that Sinmorfitellia is an alien planet, and the creatures from there lurk on Earth. They spit into the waters of wells and ponds all day, which can put people into a deep sleep. They take  sleeping with the fishes  quite literally. Long ago, Claire drowned her children believing they would go to Sinmorfitellia.

The Visit: What happened to the real grandparents?

Claire and Mitchel killed Nana and Pop Pop and put them in the basement. This information went unnoticed because Becca’s laptop’s camera was damaged by Nana, so Loretta could not confirm the imposters. Claire and Mitchel were not present every time someone came to visit, so no one suspected foul play except Stacey, who received help from the real grandparents. As a result, she is killed.

What did Claire and Mitchel intend to do?

They plan to go to Sinmorfitellia with Becca and Tyler. They all plan to die on that last night and enter the well, which they believe is their path to the alien planet where they can be happy together. This is perhaps why the grandparents hang Stacey outside the house because they don’t care about being caught.

The Visit: What’s wrong with Nana?

We don’t know what caused Nana’s mental illness, but she was crazy enough to kill her two children by putting them in suitcases and drowning them in a pond. It appears she suffers from schizophrenia as she has delusions.

The Visit: Wrap Up

From the standpoint of horror, The Visit has it all. An unnerving realistic scenario, real-life trauma, and an atmosphere of fear. Combine this with  some of the best acting work in the genre  and a documentary-style movie, and you’ve got yourself a real masterpiece.

On the downside, the movie leaves you with a lot of open questions like:

  • Considering the kids have never seen the grandparents and are going alone, Loretta didn’t ensure her kids knew what her parents looked like?
  • How are Claire and Mitchell out and about so close to the hospital without being caught?
  • Considering they are mentally ill, how did Claire and Mitchell plot such a thorough plan? (e.g. strategically damaging the camera of the laptop)
  • I understand  Suspension Of Disbelief  in horror films, but neither kids drop their cameras despite the terror they go through only so we, the audience, can get the entire narrative?

What were your thoughts on the plot and ending of the movie The Visit? Drop your comments below!

Author Stacey Shannon on This Is Barry

Stacey is a talented freelance writer passionate about all things pop culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a natural talent for storytelling. She’s a super-fan of Game of Thrones, Cats, and Indie Rock Music and can often be found engrossed in complex films and books. Connect with her on her social media handles to learn more about her work and interests.

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Film Review: ‘The Visit’

M. Night Shyamalan returns to thriller filmmaking in the style of low-budget impresario Jason Blum with mixed results.

By Geoff Berkshire

Geoff Berkshire

Associate Editor, Features

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After delivering back-to-back creative and commercial duds in the sci-fi action genre, M. Night Shyamalan retreats to familiar thriller territory with “ The Visit .” As far as happy homecomings go, it beats the one awaiting his characters, though not by much. The story of two teens spending a week with the creepy grandparents they’ve never met unfolds in a mockumentary style that’s new for the filmmaker and old hat for horror auds. Heavier on comic relief (most of it intentional) than genuine scares, this low-budget oddity could score decent opening weekend B.O. and ultimately find a cult following thanks to its freakier twists and turns, but hardly represents a return to form for its one-time Oscar-nominated auteur.

In a way, it’s a relief to see Shyamalan set aside the studio-system excesses of “The Last Airbender” and “After Earth” and get down and dirty with a found-footage-style indie crafted in the spirit of producer Jason Blum’s single location chillers. (Blum actually joined the project after filming wrapped, but it subscribes to his patented “Paranormal Activity” playbook to a T.) Except that the frustrating result winds up on the less haunting end of Shyamalan’s filmography, far south of “The Sixth Sense,” “Signs” and “The Village,” and not even as unsettling as the most effective moments in the hokey “The Happening.”

That’s not to say “The Visit” is necessarily worse than some of those efforts, just a different kind of animal. The simplicity of the premise initially works in the pic’s favor as 15-year-old aspiring documentarian Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her 13-year-old aspiring-rap-star sibling Tyler (Ed Oxenbould of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”) say goodbye to their hard-working single mom (Kathryn Hahn, better than the fleeting role deserves), who ships off on a weeklong cruise with her latest boyfriend. The kids travel by train to rural Pennsylvania to meet Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie), the purportedly kindly parents Mom left behind when she took off with her high-school English teacher and caused a permanent rift in the family.

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Becca plans to turn the whole experience into an Oscar-caliber documentary (proving she sets her sights higher than Shyamalan these days) and also an opportunity to exorcise the personal demons both she and Tyler carry around in the wake of their parents’ separation. Unfortunately for the kids, their grandparents appear to be possessed by demons of another kind — although it takes an awfully long time for them to grow legitimately concerned about Nana’s nasty habit of roaming the house at night, vomiting on the floor and scratching at the walls in the nude, and Pop Pop’s almost-as-bizarre behavior, including stuffing a woodshed full of soiled adult diapers, attacking a stranger on the street and regularly dressing in formal wear for a “costume party” that never materializes.

Ominous warnings to not go into the basement (because of “mold,” you see) and stay in their room after 9:30 (Nana’s “bedtime”) fly right over the heads of our otherwise pop-culture-savvy protagonists. Becca even stubbornly refuses to use her omnipresent camera for nighttime reconnaissance, citing concerns over exploitation and “cinematic standards” — one of the lamest excuses yet to justify dumb decisions in a horror narrative — until the weeklong stay is almost up.

Shyamalan has long been criticized for serving up borderline (or downright) silly premises with a straight face and overtly pretentious atmosphere, but he basically abandons that approach here in favor of a looser, more playful dynamic between his fresh-faced leads. At the same time, there’s a surreal campiness to the grandparents’ seemingly inexplicable behavior, fully embraced by Tony winner Dunagan and Scottish character actor McRobbie, that encourages laughter between ho-hum jump scares. Their antics only reach full-blown menacing in the perverse-by-PG-13-standards third act. (The obligatory reveal of what’s really going on works OK, as long as you don’t question it any more than anyone onscreen ever does.)

Even if there’s less chance the audience will burst out in fits of inappropriate chuckles, as was often the case in, say, “The Happening” or “Lady in the Water,” Shyamalan still can’t quite pull off the delicate tonal balance he’s after. Once events ultimately do turn violent — and Nana does more than just scamper around the floor or pop up directly in front of the camera — the setpieces are never as scary or suspenseful as they should be. Even worse are the film’s attempts at character-driven drama, including a couple of awkward soul-baring monologues from the otherwise poised young stars, and a ludicrous epilogue that presumes auds will have somehow formed an emotional bond with characters who actually remain skin-deep throughout. One longs to see what a nervier filmmaker could have done with the concept (and a R rating).

The technical package is deliberately less slick than the Shyamalan norm, although scripting Becca as a budding filmmaker interested in mise en scene provides d.p. Maryse Alberti (whose numerous doc credits include multiple Alex Gibney features) an excuse to capture images with a bit more craft than the average found footage thriller. Shyamalan purposefully decided to forego an original score, but the soundtrack is rarely silent between the chattering of the children, a selection of source music and the eerie sound editing that emphasizes every creaking door and loud crash substituting for well-earned frights.

Reviewed at Arclight Cinemas, Hollywood, Sept. 8, 2015. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 94 MIN.

  • Production: A Universal release of a Blinding Edge Pictures and Blumhouse production. Produced by Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock, M. Night Shyamalan. Executive producers, Steven Schneider, Ashwin Rajan.
  • Crew: Directed, written by M. Night Shyamalan. Camera (color, HD), Maryse Alberti; editor, Luke Ciarrocchi; music supervisor, Susan Jacobs; production designer, Naaman Marshall; art director, Scott Anderson; set decorator, Christine Wick; costume designer, Amy Westcott; sound (Dolby Digital), David J. Schwartz; supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer, Skip Lievsay; visual effects supervisor, Ruben Rodas; visual effects, Dive VFX; stunt coordinator, Manny Siverio; casting, Douglas Aibel.
  • With: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn, Celia Keenan-Bolger.

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Screen Rant

The visit ending explained: is the m. night shyamalan movie based on a true story.

M. Night Shyamalan's twist-filled 2015 shocker The Visit had audiences guessing until the very end, but is the found footage horror film a true story?

  • "The Visit" is a twist-filled thriller that earned its scares through a plausible story and clever use of found footage genre.
  • Despite being eerily plausible, "The Visit" is actually a work of pure fiction and not based on a true story.
  • The film explores themes of aging, fear, and generational trauma, while also highlighting the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation.

M. Night Shyamalan's twist-filled thriller The Visit kept viewers guessing all the way up to the shocking conclusion, but is the found footage horror hit based on a true story? Released in 2015, The Visit follows teen siblings Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) as they are sent to spend a week with their estranged grandparents. Naturally, strange things are afoot, and the teens must learn the shocking truth about their relatives. As with all of Shyamalan's horror movies, The Visit built up to a shocking twist that many didn't see coming, but it cleverly incorporated humor in a way that left many perplexed by its tone.

Despite a largely mixed critical reaction (via Rotten Tomatoes ), The Visit was a bona fide financial success (via Box Office Mojo ) and it stands as one of M. Night Shyamalan's highest-grossing movies . Unlike many of Shyamalan's other films which incorporate fantastical elements, The Visit earned its scares by being an entirely plausible story. Visually speaking, Shyamalan used the found footage genre deftly to convey a deeper meaning, and he got genuinely creepy moments from what could have easily been goofy. The compelling mix of plausibility and realism had many wondering whether The Visit was actually based on a true story.

Every Character M. Night Shyamalan Played In His Own Movies

The visit is not based on a true story.

Despite being eerily plausible, The Visit was actually a work of pure fiction and had no connection to real life. The script was penned by M. Night Shyamalan himself, with many of the movie's more positive reviews calling it a return to his former glory. Nearly all the writer/director's films have been works of his own imagination and in an interview with Geeks of Doom he said " That is the primal thing of it, that we are scared of getting old. Playing on that is a powerful conceit ". The director would return to that theme a few years later in 2021's Old but to a less effective extent.

The Grandparents Twist Explained

Throughout the film, Becca and Tyler are unsure about the behavior of their Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) and Nana (Deana Dunagan), who have seemingly grown worse as the story progresses. Obviously, something wasn't right about the elderly couple, but the pieces finally clicked when Becca discovered the remains of her real grandparents stashed away in the basement. It is revealed that Pop Pop and Nana are actually escaped patients from the local mental health facility and that they have killed Becca and Tyler's grandparents to assume their lives. It is unclear whether the two escapees would have posed a threat to the kids if they hadn't nosed around.

If there is one thing that the multi-talented Shyamalan is best known for it is his films' abundant use of shocking twists towards the end of his stories. Nearly every M. Night Shyamalan twist has kept audiences guessing, and The Visit was unique because it truly earned its shocking climax. Unlike earlier films which stuck a twist in just to fulfill the obligation, The Visit naturally built towards the twist, and it was a crucial part of the plot, unlike so many throw-away gimmick twists of the past.

Why The Visit Is A Found Footage Movie

Thanks to blockbuster horror hits like Paranormal Activity , the found footage genre started to expand in earnest at the beginning of the 2010s. However, by 2015 and the release of The Visit , the style had largely fallen out of favor. Despite this downturn in popularity, The Visit nevertheless opted for an approach that innovated the found footage tropes by injecting a bit of humor and eschewing the self-serious tone. From a story perspective, The Visit is a found footage movie because it is about Becca's quest to chronicle her family for a documentary, but the choice actually goes deeper.

Unlike other directors who chose found footage as a cheap way to save on the movie's budget, Shyamalan intellectualized the style by making it crucial to the plot. In the same Geeks of Doom interview, the director mentioned " The camera is an extension of those characters...It is manifesting in literal cinematography in this particular movie ". Additionally, Becca's abundant camera usage actually factors into the plot, such as when she shows the footage to her mother, which further integrates it into the fabric of the film.

The First "Found Footage" Movie Came 38 Years Before The Blair Witch Project

The significance of tyler’s phobias.

Horror movies are all about exploiting common phobias , and The Visit used Tyler's irrational fears as a chance to spook viewers and say something about the themes as well. Tyler is shown to be a bit of a germaphobe, and he also has a fear of freezing to death. While both have rational elements and point back to the omnipresent fear of death from which all phobias stem, Tyler's fears also speak to the idea that the elderly are frightening because they are reminders of death. The slow degradation of the body through aging is a lot like freezing to death, and it is clear that Tyler sees his elderly grandparents as unclean which activates his germ phobia.

The hilariously gruesome scene in which Pop Pop rubs his dirty adult diaper in Tyler's face forces the younger man to confront his fears, and it empowers him later when he finally dispatches the imposter grandpa. It is likely not a coincidence that Tyler kills Pop Pop by slamming his head in the refrigerator, as the ice box is an extension of Tyler's fear of freezing. He literally kills his tormentor with a symbol of the thing that mentally torments him.

How Loretta’s Past Affected The Kids

At the beginning of the film, Becca and Tyler's mom Loretta (Kathryn Hahn) explains that she hasn't spoken to her parents in 15 years because she eloped with one of her high school teachers when she was only a teenager. Instead of facing her problems like an adult, Loretta instead allowed her kids to act as a bridge between the generations, inadvertently sending them to live with two violent escapees from the local mental health ward. Loretta would later reveal that Nana and Pop Pop aren't her parents in one of Shyamalan's most terrifying scares , but she was away on a cruise and couldn't come to their aid.

This forces her kids to mature faster than she ever could, and they go on the offense as they are tasked with escaping from the murderous impostors occupying their grandparent's home. At the end of the film, Loretta explains her last interaction with her parents turned violent, which sheds a bit of light on why she couldn't just face up to the past. In some ways, Loretta's choices as a teenager eventually led to the precarious situation that Becca and Tyler ended up in, and she passed a bit of generational trauma on to them.

Why Becca Puts Her Father In The Documentary

Having survived the harrowing ordeal, Becca's documentary finally begins to take shape at the very end of The Visit . She is given the chance to cut in footage of her estranged father, and though Loretta informs her she doesn't have to, Becca opts to put him in. This choice shows that Becca has matured significantly since the titular visit, and she has come to the realization that forgiveness really is the best path. Loretta could never forgive her parents, and it robbed her of a chance for reconciliation. By putting her dad in the documentary, Becca left that door open for her future self and maybe her own children too.

How Many M. Night Shyamalan Movies REALLY Have Twists

The real meaning of the visit’s ending.

From a horror perspective, the ending of The Visit is all about the fear of death as personified by the elderly. Nana and Pop Pop are terrifying embodiments of the eventual degradation of the body, though they also fill the role of the conventional horror antagonist. However, from a more thematic side, The Visit is also about forgiveness and reconciliation, as the harboring of deep-seated pain can eventually lead to a bad outcome. Even if it isn't literally an encounter with escaped murderers, it is at least a path of nothing but pain and loss.

The Cinemaholic

The Visit: How Much of M. Night Shyamalan’s Movie is True?

 of The Visit: How Much of M. Night Shyamalan’s Movie is True?

The 2015 found footage horror film ‘The Visit’ charts the tale of a pair of siblings’ mysterious week-long visit to their grandparents’ house that takes an unforeseen turn for the worse. Due to Loretta Jamison’s tense departure from her childhood home in her late teenage years, the woman’s kids, Becca and Tyler, grow up without any contact with their grandparents. For the same reason, once the latter party extends an invitation to the kids, they readily agree and set out on a vacation. However, on the first night of their arrival, past the 9:30 bedtime, the kids begin to spot eerie occurrences around the house.

In the following days, Becca and Tyler witness Nana and Pop Pop’s increasingly dangerous behavior, shifting their visit from a fun stay at their grandparents’ to a living nightmare. Due to the plausible nature of the young Jamisons’ misadventures, their story remains relatively grounded in reality despite its unnerving horror. However, exactly how much reality is behind the tale?

The Visit Harvests Horror From Realistic Sources

No, ‘The Visit’ is not based on a true story. The film is an original idea created by M. Night Shyamalan , who helmed the project’s development as the Director and Screenwriter. Therefore, all the elements explored within the narrative, including the premise, plotlines, and characters, are works of fiction credited to the filmmaker’s imagination.

trama del film the visit

Still, like any worthwhile horror, the source of the character’s fears and settings within the film had to have tangible connections to reality to ensure the narrative held the audience’s attention without fail. For the same reason, ‘The Visit’ mines its frightening elements from unusual but realistic fears, the most obvious of which remains Nana and Pop Pop’s characters. Through their centrally antagonistic characters, the film highlights the thematic fear of aging, paired with actual physical and medical manifestations of the same.

Shyamalan discussed this facet of the film in a conversation with Bloody Disgusting , where he said, “No matter how you slice it— when people begin acting odd, things can get frightening in a hurry. Something that’s frightening to a viewer triggers their sense of the unknown.” Relating the same idea to the inconveniences of growing old— a phenomenon undiscovered until personal experience— the filmmaker crafted the central storyline that the film’s story revolves around.

“It’s interesting that fear can be triggered by having an elderly person do something that is just crazy weird,” Shyamalan expanded. “The situation can be both hilarious and scary. You’re having two emotions boiling over at the same time. That’s what I wanted ‘The Visit’ to do to the audience.”

Furthermore, by focusing on elderly characters as a source of horror within his story, Shyamalan tapped into an innate fear of death that many harbor. The filmmaker discussed the same in an interview with  Geeks of Doom and said, “I have to believe there is a primal thing that we are talking about even though we are doing it in a tongue-in-cheek manner. What is it that makes it scary? What is the psychology behind it? I just love psychology. Why we do things? What does the color red do? What is this? All of that stuff. That is the primal thing of it— that we are scared of getting old. Playing on that is a powerful conceit.”

Within the same interview, Shyamalan also spoke about his own relationship with the fear of old people, sharing compelling anecdotes about his life, “My late grandparents were classic Indian parents. My grandmother would put so much powder on her face— it would be like a Kabuki mask. My grandfather would have no teeth because he would take out his teeth, and put them in the glass, and try to scare me with it. He was very mischievous, too. So then I tried to scare them when I was a little older.”

It remains evident that the filmmaker didn’t base any characters on people from his life. Still, it’s possible he used his past experiences to better frame the dynamic of teenage kids and their fearful relationship with an aged person’s odd behavior. As such, the film is able to hold onto a sense of humor while still delivering on the horror beats.

However, even though these fears have a basis in real life, the film’s storylines itself do not. Therefore, ‘The Visit’ remains a fictional work with its characters and their circumstances confined to fictionality.

Read More: Best Found Footage Movies on Netflix 


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IB Language and Literature 2.0

Group 1 english higher and standard level, drama study: the visit by friedrich dürrenmatt, from the prl / translated work (german) / c20th / europe / switzerland.

“He considers it a part of his philosophical business to reach a mass audience through his [works] without diluting that one main idea which permeates much of his writing: justice.” William Gillis, writing in the German Quarterly, 1962

trama del film the visit


The impoverished town of Guellen looks to multi-millionaire Claire Zachanassian for financial salvation. When she offers them a million dollars, they think their dreams have come true – but her offer comes with a condition attached. They must kill a citizen of the town, named Ill, a popular man standing for mayor – and someone who just happens to be her former lover. Initially, the townspeople refuse, but their resolve is tested by the allure of wealth. Will they hold true to their morals, or will they end up carrying out her wish?

The Visit , written in 1956, was Dürrenmatt’s third published work and is set approximately ten years after the end of the war. Famously, Switzerland remained neutral throughout the conflict, siding with neither Allied nor Axis forces. However, Switzerland had deported its Jewish citizens, refused to allow migrant Jews fleeing the Nazis to enter Switzerland, hosted Allied soldiers in prisoner of war camps, and accepted looted gold from German forces. In Dürrenmatt’s opinion, ‘neutrality’ was merely a euphemism for ‘complicity’. Therefore, his play is set in Guellen, a thinly veiled representation of Switzerland; a community forced to choose between moral convictions and material gain.

  • Biography – Friedrich Dürrenmatt
  • Wider Reading – from A Ranking of the Greatest Plays of All Time

IB Student Learner Profile: Thinker

“We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.”

If any writers on your course can be called a thinker, Friedrich Dürrenmatt must be near the top of the list. He was born in 1921 in Konolfingen, a small town just outside the Swiss capital of Bern. The son of a pastor, he developed a keen interest in philosophy and went to Berlin where he began a doctoral dissertation on the philosopher Kierkegaard. In the middle of his studies, though, he came to believe that greed and hypocrisy had polluted life in Switzerland after the second world war. He abandoned his dissertation and returned to Switzerland, becoming a playwright and crafting controversial works full of dark humour and grotesqueries, laying bare the absurdity of European politics and society. He famously said, “it is not only possible to think with the philosophy, but also with the theater stage.”

IB Lang and Lit Concept: C ommunication

trama del film the visit

Arguably the defining language feature of Dürrenmatt’s play is pervasive irony . Hardly anybody says what they really mean, and their actions contradict their words. Even the ‘hero’ of the piece is guilty of shifting the truth when it suits purposes. As you read The Visit , consider how certain uses of language can be used to conceal as well as reveal, to distort as well as illuminate, and how communication is rarely straightforward in Dürrenmatt’s play.

“Everything can be bought.”

trama del film the visit

The first act begins with several townspeople gathered at the train station. They note with regret how few trains stop in Guellen; a sign of the city’s recent economic decline. They are waiting for the arrival of Claire Zachanassian, a woman who was born in the town, but had to leave under a cloud of shame when she was seventeen years old. Claire is now a multi-millionaire and the townspeople hope that Claire will give them money so they can restore their town to its former glory.

Claire arrives – early – and disrupts the townspeople’s preparations to welcome her. Nevertheless they give her the best reception they can manage and, after she visits a few places she remembers from her youth, the mayor gives a speech in her honour at the town’s hotel, the Golden Apostle. Claire then delights the gathered townspeople by offering them a million dollars – it seems like their hopes will be granted. But she attaches a condition which they cannot yet accept: they must kill Ill, her former lover, now a popular storekeeper and the man in line to be the next town mayor.

Act 1 Scene 1

“We must drink a special toast to Ill – a man who’s doing all a man can to better our lot. To our most popular citizen: to my successor!”

The once prosperous town of Guellen is plunged into desperate poverty, even while the rest of Europe seems to be prospering. Various men of the town of Guellen are gathered at the train station. The way the people look forward to Claire’s arrival shows their fixation on money, and in fact, it seems that they put money above anything else, such as religion, when they mention that “God doesn’t pay.” Guellen is a fictional town of Dürrenmatt’s invention meant to represent any Swiss town in the decade following the second world war. Therefore, the townspeople of Guellen also represent average Swiss people – if not European people as a whole – and so their fixation on money can be seen as a criticism of post-war European materialism. Equally, the town’s mayor, who is eager to welcome Claire and writes an oily speech praising her intelligence and generosity, can be seen to represent any politician who is willing to put materialism before morality and say whatever he needs to say to secure financial rewards.

Claire arrives at the station by riding a train which normally does not stop in Guellen. She pulls the emergency brake to make sure it does, and is initially scolded by an official of the railway until he finds out who she is. Then, like everyone else in the play, he wants to slavishly fulfil her every wish – even going to the ridiculous extent of offering to keep the train and all of its passengers there waiting for days until she wants to leave.

  • Act 1 Scene 1 (Discussion and Activities)
Why are Dürrenmatt’s stage directions so specific about how Guellen should look? The shoddily tiled railway station, the ripped posters on its walls, the outlines of dilapidated buildings in the background; these details visually alert the audience to the town’s dire situation even before the unemployed men say anything.

Learner Portfolio: Putting on the Play

Based on Dürrenmatt’s detailed stage directions throughout Act 1, design the staging for a new production of The Visit. You could do some research into set design by visiting this Museums of the World online collection and viewing Milan Butina’s wonderful concept drawings for a 1958 performance of the play in Ljubljana.

Annotate your work with explainers as to the effect you want your design to have on the audience. If you don’t like doing visual or graphic design work, you could submit this Learner Portfolio entry in the style of a ‘letter from the director’, communicating with your design team about your ideas and the effects you want to create for your audience.

Act 1 Scene 2

A moment ago you wanted time turned back, in that wood so full of the past. Well I’m turning it back now, and I want justice. Justice for a million.

trama del film the visit

Claire and Ill tour some of the places they trysted together when they were young: Petersen’s Barn and Konrad’s Village Wood. Claire recalls how their relationship ended: Ill married another woman and left her all alone. She wound up leaving the town and becoming a prostitute in Hamburg, where she attracted the attention of a rich Armenian, the first of many wealthy husbands. Ill insists all turned out for the best because, if she had married him, she would not have become rich. Eventually, talk comes back to the reason for Claire’s visit and she promises that she will not let her hometown continue to suffer. Elated, Ill regrets aloud that they could not have married, and admires her once more. He keeps saying how she has not changed and kisses her hand. She corrects him; her hand, like her leg, is artificial. She was the only survivor of a plane crash and needed numerous artificial limbs.

Back at the hotel, the Mayor finally delivers his fawning speech in Claire’s honour. Afterwards, she reveals that she will indeed make a contribution to the town’s economic recovery. She will donate a million dollars to the town and its residents – but she has a surprising condition attached.

  • Act 1 Scene 2 (Discussion and Activities)
While the possession of excessive wealth can lead to the corruption of one’s character, there seems to be the suggestion that poverty can have negative effects, too. Ill says that the lack of money in his family has made his home unhappy. Dürrenmatt criticises extreme wealth – and simultaneously recognises the effects of poverty. Do you think his play supports the idea of wealth redistribution from the obscenely rich (people like Claire) to ordinary people like the citizens of Guellen?

Learner Portfolio: Claire’s Worldview

Throughout the play, ‘justice’ means something different to each of the central characters. To Claire, justice is the same as vengeance – it is her desire for retribution against Ill because he wronged her forty-five years ago. This kind of justice is personal, Claire feels entitled to take Ill’s life even though it is outside the laws or even religious guidelines of her community. Furthermore, Claire treats justice as a commodity to be bought or sold. When the Mayor protests that “justice can’t be bought,” Claire responds that “everything can be bought.”

Write a one-two page piece about Claire Zachanassian’s worldview based on Act One of The Visit . Include a selection of her thoughts about various topics, such as:

  • Relationships
  • Other topics that you think might be meaningful.
“You can get anything you want with money”

trama del film the visit

Ill’s curiosity is aroused by the behaviour of people in the town. Customers in his shop order more expensive items than usual, people ask for their purchases to be charged to expense accounts; everyone in the town seems to have new clothes and shoes. Ill gradually starts to fear that all of this debt is being taken out on the expectation that the town will receive its reward from Claire; something they can only receive if he is killed.

Things take a more sinister turn when the black panther Claire brought with her to Guellen escapes. The Mayor orders that everyone carry a gun – even the priest Ill turns to for help has a rifle strapped to his chest. The priest, like everyone else in the town, dismisses his fears, and suggests that really it is the miserable state of his soul which should trouble him, not his fear of his fellow citizens. Eventually, things get too much for Ill and he resolves to leave town. He is headed to the train station with his suitcase, but the townspeople stand in his way. Guellen, they say, is the safest place for him. Is Ill simply being paranoid – or is the lure of money starting to erode the Guelleners’ moral convictions?

Act 2, Scene 1

“The way they all rejected the offer, all the Guelleners… unanimously, that was the finest moment of my life.”

Ill is alone in his shop. His son and daughter have both made excuses to be elsewhere, and he can only watch through the window as the townspeople bring flowers to adorn the coffin Claire has had set up as a reminder of her offer – and the condition she has attached. Throughout the morning, his shop is frequented by customers who tend to be a bit more liberal in their purchases and, what’s more, he notices their nice clothes and new shoes. All his customers ask him to charge the bill to their accounts. They would not do so unless they expected to come into possession of money in the near future, and with Guellen’s otherwise slim prospects, it is obvious they must be counting on the money from Claire. Ill quickly realizes this for himself, and this scene marks the beginning of his anxiety.

Throughout this scene, Ill sees that the people are getting used to living better than they have in the past, and he does not think that they will want to return to their previous way of life. Dürrenmatt criticises Western society’s obsession with materialism: people are unable to sacrifice what they have, even for a good cause such as saving a man’s life.
  • Act 2 Scene 1 (Discussion and Activities)

Learner Portfolio: Practise for Paper 1 (Literature students only)

If you are a Language A: Literature student, at the end of your course you will sit Paper 1: Guided Literary Analysis. This paper contains two previously unseen literary passages. SL students write a guided analysis of one of these passages; HL students write about both passages. The passages could be taken from any of four literary forms: prose, poetry, drama or literary non-fiction . Each of the passages will be from a different literary form.

Here are two passages taken from The Visit ; as this is a play the literary form is ‘drama’. Each passage is accompanied by a guiding question to provide a focus or ‘way in’ to your response. Choose one passage and complete this Learner Portfolio entry in the style of Paper 1: Guided Literary Analysis .

Act 2 Scene 2

“Do you believe the people will betray you now for money?”

trama del film the visit

His anxiety rising, Ill visits both the Mayor and the town Priest for reassurance. The mayor then tries to reassure him by recalling the lofty heritage of Guellen; the citizens would never stoop to murder, he says. The mayor becomes resentful when Ill demands Claire’s arrest and points out that perhaps Claire has a point and that what Ill did to Claire was a pretty bad thing to do. Because of this, the Mayor tells Ill that his chances of becoming mayor have been dashed. The priest, like the others, dismisses his fear, and also suggests that Ill’s conscience is troubling him. Finally, it all gets too much for Ill and he decides to leave town. At the train station, he is surrounded by people who prevent him from leaving.

If their words contradict their interior desires, the exterior actions of the townspeople mirror the true direction of their thoughts. Many carry around guns, ostensibly to defend themselves from the panther. But, as Ill points out, their reaction is excessive. Even the priest, who represents religion, succumbs to this ambivalence and carries with him a rifle.
  • Act 2 Scene 2 (Activities and Discussion)

Learner Portfolio: A State of Denial

‘Denial, or evasion of responsibility, is what plagues the townspeople. As their subconscious minds become more focused on murdering Ill, they refuse to see the reality for what it is’.

Use an analysis of Act 2 to support this statement. Spend a few minutes deciding on the kind of work you might like to produce for your Learner Portfolio. For example, you could write a mini-essay, mind-map the theme of ‘denial’, or create a Point-Quote-Explanation chart.

“You must judge me, now. I shall accept your judgement, whatever it may be. For me, it will be justice; what it will be for you, I don’t know.”

In the third act, the Press arrives to cover Claire’s visit to her hometown. They are aware that she has offered the town money, but they don’t know anything about the condition she attached to it – and the townspeople are anxious to keep it that way! The schoolmaster, with the aid of some strong drink, gathers up his courage and tries to tell the press the town’s secret; unexpectedly, it is Ill himself who stops him. Ill has realized that he brought this situation on himself through his past actions.

The town is planning to vote later that day on whether or not to accept Claire’s proposal and Ill tells the mayor he will abide by whatever decision is made. Will the town vote in favour of Claire’s proposal and kill him? Or will their humanist ideals and morality prevail over the lure of cash?

Act 3 Scene 1

“The world turned me into a whore. I shall turn the world into a brothel.”

The next step in the psychological ‘devolution’ of the Guellen townspeople is an attempt to bargain with Claire to avoid the downsides of her offer while still getting the benefits. They appeal to her own sense of greed by pointing out that Guellen’s industry could be quite profitable to her if she invested in it. Their efforts fall on deaf ears. Whatever profit Claire could gain through investment could hardly be worth her time, if she can simply marry another rich husband – precisely what she is now planning to do.

Meanwhile, Ill returns to his shop to find his family enjoying their own new purchases, and a group of reporters asking questions about the town’s proposed windfall. Of all the townsfolk, only the schoolteacher seems at all repentant, and tries to pluck up the courage to go to the Press with the truth about Claire’s ghastly offer.

  • Act 3 Scene 1 (Discussion and Activities)
  • Wider Reading – Justice and Morality in The Visit
Ill’s situation seems to have prompted some powerful reflection on his part, signified by the way he is directed to pace up and down in his shop. Do you think that his remorse over his past actions is genuine? Or is he still hoping to avoid his fate by evoking the pity of the townsfolk?

Learner Portfolio: Practise for Paper 2

Write this Learner Portfolio in the style of a practice Paper 2 response. You can use one of the prompts below, or another prompt given to you by your teacher. Although Paper 2 requires you to write about two literary works, for the sake of this exercise you could focus only on your response to  The Visit , or you could try to compare your ideas to another literary work you have studied ( visit this post for more help with Paper 2 ).

Choose one of the following prompts (or use another prompt you have been given), talk with your teacher about how to approach and structure your writing, then complete your portfolio entry:

  • In what ways can the term ‘artificial’ be applied to literary works you have studied?
  • Works of literature can often function as social or political commentary. Discuss this idea with reference to literature you have studied.
  • Consider how works of literature employ humour, and to what effect.
  • It is not always easy to ‘forgive and forget.’ Illustrate this observation with reference to literary works you have studied.

Act 3 Scene 2

“Not for the sake of the money… But for justice.”

trama del film the visit

Ill finds Claire in the Village Woods which, he finds out, she owns. After they briefly recall the time they had together when they were young, Ill thanks her for the decorations to his future coffin and tells her that the city council is going to meet to decide his fate. Unrepentant and unapologetic, she says that she will intern him in a mausoleum she owns, thereby asserting absolute control over him. After his death she says she will no longer be haunted by him; he will become just another memory.

Ill returns to the Town Hall where the press has gathered to cover the town meeting, though they are still unaware of its full meaning; they are not aware of Claire’s offer. The mayor begins speaking and offers his thanks publicly to Ill for securing the donation from Claire. They will hold a vote to decide whether to accept or reject Claire’s offer. Surprisingly, Ill tells the mayor that he will respect whatever decision the city makes. Will the lure of money prove too much to resist or will the town’s morality and idealism win the day?

  • Act 3 Scene 2 (Discussion and Activities)
  • Research: Types of Justice: Forgiveness (The Guardian podcast)
This scene helps the audience understand Claire’s offer more fully. As a rich woman Claire always gets what she wants: if she wants to travel somewhere, buy up an entire town, buy a panther, she can. So far, however, she has not been able to shake the heartbreak Ill caused. Therefore, she uses the same tactic of throwing money at a problem to solve it. Do you think, though, that killing Ill will really make her problem go away?

Learner Portfolio: Crime and Punishment

‘The most obvious overall themes of The Visit are those of vengeance and justice. Claire’s driving force in the play is vengeance and what she believes is justice for the crime which drove her from town in humiliation – and she stops at nothing to get it.’

Write a one-two page Learner Portfolio entry about vengeance and justice as presented in The Visit . Consider the following points to help you structure and develop your response:

  • What type of justice does Claire represent? What does ‘justice’ mean to her?
  • What does ‘justice’ mean to the townspeople? Are they really motivated by a sense of justice for Ill’s past crimes?
  • How has Ill’s notion of justice developed and changed over the course of the play? What does ‘justice’ mean to him?
  • Given that Guellen is a microcosm of Europe, what, seemingly, does Durrenmatt conclude about justice in Western societies?

Towards Assessment:  Higher Level Essay

Students submit an essay on one non-literary text or a collection of non-literary texts by one same author, or a literary text or work studied during the course. The essay must be 1,200-1,500 words in length.   (20 Marks).

Please find suggestions here; but always be mindful of your own ideas and class discussions and follow the direction of your own programme of study when devising your assessment tasks.

Now you have studied the entirety of The Visit , if you are a Higher Level student, you might like to turn your thoughts to the essay that all Higher Level students must write. The Visit has been described as a ‘tragi-comedy’ and you might like to take this description as the starting point for your investigation. Begin by considering one of these angles of approach; although remember to follow your own ideas and interests where you can:

  • How do the characters in The Visit present different ideas about justice?
  • How are the themes of appearance, reality, and artifice developed in both the stage directions and dialogue of Durrenmatt’s The Visit?
  • Is it possible for the audience to truly sympathise with Alfred Ill in Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play The Visit?
  • How, and to what purposes, does Durrenmatt employ different types of irony in his play The Visit?
  • What does The Visit have to say about the corrupting power of money? How does Durrenmatt convey ideas about money through elements of his play?

Towards Assessment:  Individual Oral

Supported by an extract from one non-literary text and one from a literary work (or two literary works if you are following the Literature-only course), students will offer a prepared response of 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of questions by the teacher, to the following prompt:  Examine the ways in which the global issue of your choice is presented through the content and form of two of the texts that you have studied (40 marks) .

Th e Visit  could be an excellent text to talk about in your oral assessment. The themes of humanism, morality, money, denial, deception, revenge and justice can be formulated into the Global Issue which will form the core of your talk. Now you have finished reading and studying the play, spend a lesson working with the  IB Fields of Inquiry : mind-map the play, include your ideas for Global Issues, make connections with other Literary Works or Body of Works that you have studied on your course and see if you can make a proposal you might use to write your Individual Oral.

Here are one or two suggestions to get you started, but consider your own programme of study before you make any firm decisions about your personal Global Issue. Whatever you choose, remember a Global Issue must have  local relevance,   wide impact  and be  trans-national :

  • Field of Inquiry:  Power, Politics and Justice
  • Global Issue:   types of justice
  • Possible Pairings (Lit course: if you are following the Literature-only course, you must pair a text originally written in English with a translated work) :  The Merchant of Venice  by William Shakespeare; Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee.
  • Possible Pairings (Lang and Lit):   I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach; Nelson Mandela’s speeches;

The action of The Visit is motivated by Claire Zachanassian’s desire for revenge – which she calls ‘justice’ – over Alfred Ill for his treatment of her decades ago; a type of ‘eye for an eye’ justice. In fact, ‘justice’ means different things to different people throughout the play and exploring this idea could make for an excellent Individual Oral activity.

  • Field of Inquiry:  Beliefs, Values and Education
  • Global Issue:   money vs morality
  • Possible Pairings (Lit course: if you are following the Literature-only course, you must pair a text originally written in English with a translated work) :  The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare; Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw; Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet; The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter.
  • Possible Pairings (Lang and Lit): editorial cartoons by Ann Telnaes ; I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach; The Waldo Moment by Charlie Brooker; Drop the ‘I’ Word online campaign; various artworks by Mr Brainwash .

The townspeople of Guellen are offered a Faustian bargain by Claire: a million dollars in exchange for a man’s death. Dürrenmatt’s play shows his belief that idealism is no match for the lure of money. What do other writers have to say about this conundrum?

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Categories: Drama

6 replies »

best website ever, super useful

Like Liked by 1 person

This is fantastic! So well organized and clear. Really useful! Thanks!

Love this, thank you!

love this so helpful but can you please share the answers to the worksheet

I haven’t made ‘answers’ – the multiple choice questions are easy enough to find in the text. The ‘understanding’ questions, I have my students write short answers or make notes and simply compare ideas. Any that are too difficult, the students listen to each other and note down ideas. Sometimes it’s interesting when students have similar or different answers. You can set these to do as prep for a class or let students do them in the first part of the lessons (15 – 20 minutes, then share answers and ideas).

very very cool

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The Visit (1963)

Twenty-four hours in the life of Pina and Adolfo. The story of a 36-year-old woman and the flashbacks that show the pair's lives and fills in some details of their other relationships. Twenty-four hours in the life of Pina and Adolfo. The story of a 36-year-old woman and the flashbacks that show the pair's lives and fills in some details of their other relationships. Twenty-four hours in the life of Pina and Adolfo. The story of a 36-year-old woman and the flashbacks that show the pair's lives and fills in some details of their other relationships.

  • Antonio Pietrangeli
  • Gino De Santis
  • Giuseppe De Santis
  • Ruggero Maccari
  • Sandra Milo
  • François Périer
  • Mario Adorf
  • 5 User reviews
  • 10 Critic reviews
  • 1 win & 4 nominations

Sandra Milo and François Périer in The Visit (1963)

  • Adolfo Di Palma
  • (as François Perier)

Mario Adorf

  • Renato Gusso
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

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Adua e le compagne

User reviews 5

  • skepticskeptical
  • Oct 2, 2020
  • June 21, 1965 (France)
  • The Visitor
  • Borgoforte, Mantua, Lombardia, Italy
  • Zebra Films
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro

Technical specs

  • Runtime 1 hour 26 minutes
  • Black and White

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