The Visit

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Vampire Owl :: That reminds me that we haven’t visited Uncle Dracula for a long time.

Vampire Bat :: We are not supposed to do that before submitting a report about The Conjuring 2.

Vampire Owl :: Well, at least we can add new movies to the list of flicks we have watched.

Vampire Bat :: I believe that watching one more horror movie will only do us a lot of good.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, it is a kind of regeneration, I agree.

Vampire Bat :: And this one is from Manoj Night Shyamalan.

Vampire Owl :: Which was the last movie from him that we watched?

Vampire Bat :: That should be After Earth.

Vampire Owl :: Lets forget about the past then.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, I surely have a better feeling about this one.

[Gets three cups of tea with jackfruit chips].

What is it about? :: Two kids, Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) decides to go on a five day visit to their grandparents whom they haven’t met before, as their mother Loretta Jamison (Kathryn Hahn) had left the house to live with the man of her dreams, and never talked to them after that. She goes on a cruise with her new boyfriend, as the children leaves to enjoy their holidays with their grandparents. The two kids meet their grandparents (Peter McRobbie and Deanna Dunagan) and they are extremely delighted of this family re-union, calling the two elders, Pop-pop and Nana, and the elders also look very happy to see the children. They even shoot a documentary about their visit to their “reclaimed” grandparents.

So what happens next? :: But things don’t go that smoothly as expected, as there is something really strange about the grandparents. The bed-time is set at half past nine, and whenever they try to go out or even look outside their room, there is something really weird going on with the grandparents, especially their grandmother. Her behaviour only seems to get even more strange as days pass, and their grandfather beats up a random stranger on the streets for no real reason. There is a girl named Stacey (Celia Keenan-Bolger) who had come to visit the couple, but they don’t find her leaving. By hiding a camera, they discover even darker secrets, and they realize that there is something wrong about their grandparents even though their mother doesn’t believe them. They decide to find out what it is.

The defence of The Visit :: The movie has an interesting run throughout, and we are left guessing about what is wrong about these people, and then the twist comes by the end – it works very well. There are some really creepy moments in between, and they actually come out of nowhere, mostly when we are least expecting them. There are also some funny moments in there, and The Visit should qualify as an entertainer in most of the lists due to the same reason. Running for just a little bit more than one and half hours, The Visit makes sure that it keeps us there, very much interested in it. There is not much of blood and gore here, and without using that much of the jump scares, the movie manages to be an interesting horror flick, which means that there is some nice skill going on there.

The claws of flaw :: The movie takes a certain amount of time to get to its thrilling side, and until then, the possibility of terror is not that much ascertained. The found-footage elements were not necessary here either, and we could have actually done without them. It is the kind of thing that I have hated in almost all horror movies, yes even those highly popular ones. The premise could have been better used, as this kind of a story can always bring a high amount of creepiness into play. There are also some silly moments around in this one, and the scary side could have been introduced a lot earlier. One can often compare it to a very strange and gloomy fairy-tale, but it never really gets there in totality – that would have been another interesting thing.

Performers of the soul :: The kids Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould have done fine job here, even though there is not that much to perform in this horror movie which focuses on the two elders. But the funny side works very well for them. Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie brings the best of a strange couple here, and the former has the best moments in the movie. She has her hide and seek moment, the oven scene, the scene when she is scratching on the walls and those final moments of horror from under the bed which all leave some impact on the viewers varying only in the degree. Above them all, there is one thing that we can be more certain about, and it is that Manoj Night Shyamalan has returned to form, and it will be interesting to see what his next movie is about – 2017 will have the thriller Split with James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy who was earlier seen in The Witch.

How it finishes :: Compared to the rest of the movies of its genre released in the last few years, The Visit surely has managed to come up with a separate identity, even though it doesn’t completely use its premise to the best advantage. The last two movies from Manoj Night Shyamalan including The Last Airbender and After Earth never really got close to keeping me interested. But this one surely brings him back, with certain amount of skill in creating those moments of horror, rather than sticking to the usual formula. My favourites from him will always be The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, but this one also makes it to the interesting movies list with his name on it. When talking about the movies with story from him, I would go for Devil as my favourite.

Release date: 11th September 2015
Running time: 94 minutes
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn, Benjamin Kanes, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jon Douglas Rainey, Brian Gildea, Shawn Gonzalez, Richard Barlow, Erica Lynne Marszalek, Shawn Gonzalez, Michael Mariano

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

We’re the Millers

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It was a delayed entrance that this comedy movie made to the theatres here and there was a bigger delay in me watching the same. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones had taken over the last weekend, and it was necessary that I had to wait, and therefore I did and took this pill of comedy which is We’re the Millers. The Hangover Part III was the last full-time comedy of this nature which I had watched in the theatre last. Now, here is this movie which overtakes the final movie of a series of a solid fanbase even with its highly predictable setup which comes up with no surprises or moments of absolute brilliance. It is more of a disadvantage of that movie rather than the capability of this movie. But the difference in rating is negligible and the effect is also not that much of a variation, as you can check right here: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/thehangover3/ except for the well-known fact that it was The Hangover, and was to be respected for the first movie of the franchise, which was just another Dude, Where’s My Car? if we look at it with eyes uncovered of the glorified mist.

David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is a drug dealer of a smaller level, a chronic bachelor and still a happy one until he is robbed of his money and stock, on a night of stupidity. His boss, a rich drug lord and gangster Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) forces David to smuggle marijuana from Mexico to the United States in order to clear his debt to be him as well as gain some good carrier fee. As he is known enough as a drug dealer and one man crossing the border is going to be more suspicious, he hires a stripper named Rose (Jennifer Aniston) who is having heavy financial difficulties and loses her job, an arrogant runaway teenage punk girl named Casey (Emma Roberts), and his eighteen year-old neighbor Kenny who is afraid of kissing a girl (Will Poulter) to pose as a typical American family called the Millers travelling in an RV, with that random family name he came across. They are a strange group, but still manage to get through into Mexico and also get the needed goods from a Mexican drug-hold, despite almost getting shot by the gangsters and being caught by the Mexican police.

Due to the presence of a heavy load of marijuana on the RV, the automobile breaks down. They are helped by a family called Fitzgeralds whom they had encountered at the border, and it consisted of Don (Nick Offerman), Edie (Kathryn Hahn), and Melissa (Molly Quinn). As they take the Millers’ RV to a repair shop, Kenny falls further for Melissa. It is then revealed that Don Fitzgerald is a DEA agent as he comes across his badge and the gun. After Edie seems to be highly interested in Rose, and Melissa finds out Kenny kissing both Casey and Rose (as they were trying to teach him the same), a holy mess breaks out and despite the husband and wife being reluctant to leave them, they finally get to the shop only to be greeted by the real drug lord whose package they had been carrying over. But they try to convince him that they are not a real family, and Rose is a stripper, as she strips down to her underwear and do some pole-dancing and attacks him with a steam vent which sets them on the escape route with an angry drug lord and his men behind them. As they try to settle their differences, they are followed by one of the most dangerous gangs and it is to see if they can survive and finish their mission, earning the much needed money.

Jennifer Aniston who seems to look better and better, steals the show in this movie, as the stripper and still the caring supposed-to-be-mother. I haven’t watched many of her movies, and the only one I can remember right now, is Bruce Almighty, possibly because the genres of the films she acted in rarely was part of my to-be-watched list. May be I could find a few more of the movies with her in them, sooner or later. The absence of big male leading actor is solved by her presence, and even as this is more of an opportunity for her to get into her character and look awesome. But it is to be noted that her acting skills as a comedy actress also gets its due, and she never looks out of place and even her character’s job in the movie seems to help her performance highly. She has her charm working out throughout the movie as she triumphs in what she does. Most of the better moments of the movie has her as part of it. She is the biggest star in the movie, and the next one is Ed Helms, the Stu of The Hangover franchise with quite a small screen presence. He comes, make a short impact and then makes small appearances.

Jason Sudeikis as David Clark makes a good central character, and he has his own good moments in an everlasting screen presence. He remains funny throughout, as his dynamic character evolves from the drug dealer who keeps seeking money to a responsible father-to-be. Will Poulter’s Kenny Rossmore is undoubtedly the funniest of all characters in the movie. He is instantly likable even with all the nonsense that he come with up with, adding to the funny side of the movie. Emma Roberts as Casey Mathis, and she provides the right dose of energy or the lack of it at the right moments, creating the much needed contrast with Kenny on one side, while also with David on another side. She is the bad kid, a strange and never caring girl who ran away from her home due to small differences. Nick Offerman’s Don Fitzgerald and Kathryn Hahn’s Edie Fitzgerald are the next funnier characters. Molly Quinn as Melissa Fitzgerald has a cute, beautiful, innocent presence throughout the time she spends on screen. She might even be the best-looking person around in the movie. Tomer Sisley is a fine Mexican drug lord and Matthew Willig makes a good henchman.

The strength of this movie is its cast, as one might expect even before watching the trailer of this movie. But the question remains if they could have had a better, less predictable plots with not much of the repeated comedy scenes. Some of them are too silly and stupid for the common movie watcher who has had a long season of watching comedy movies. It might be more than just okay for the viewers from this part of the world, as adult-comedy is not something you get to watch in theatres too often here, and even if it does attack the big screen or the television channels, there are more to cut than to show, making the whole thing a lot more shorter than what it really is. Jennifer Aniston surely had some of her stripping and pole-dancing cut from the totality, and there has been a lot of dialogues by both the male and the female lead which has been removed. The movie surely felt quite short compared to its total running time given in the internet, but one can also think that it was more because it was funny and entertaining enough, with subtitles to make sure that none of those terms are missed by the usual audience who don’t get to see movies of this genre every day, every month or even every year.

The Heat and Grown Ups 2 hasn’t come to our theatres, but The Hangover Part III had quite a good time here. We’re the Millers also had quite an okay time here, but Jennifer Aniston can’t create that much of an effect here and there all the collection this movie makes here comes from the trailer which was shown before Indian movies, and that trailer was pretty good rising the bar of expectations. The fact that Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is having a better word of mouth, and still staying on to have more shows, and Riddick coming to make an impact with a superstar who is loved in this part of the world, the only hope for this movie is to fill the void which The Conjuring might leave next week after scaring enough people. But that might also be filled by new releases in different languages, as the Onam celebrations are coming up and families shall flock into both the normal theatres as well as the multiplexes, not for adult-comedy, but for the family movies, mostly in Malayalam followed by Tamil and Hindi in that order. So the time of this movie has almost ended here, but it has surely created enough impact outside here. For now, I hope that they don’t steal from this movie to make a road trip flick in the form of a Hindi or Malayalam movie, as a whole or in part, as that won’t be tolerable at all.

Release date: 7th August 2013 (United States); 31st August 2013 (India)
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly Quinn, Ken Marino, Matthew Willig, Tomer Sisley, Thomas Lennon

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.