The day me and my daughter returned home after spending the holidays at my mom’s, it was the last weekend before work and school resumes so, we decided to spend it just chilling with some “family friendly” viewing. I also caught and enjoyed acclaimed movie-musical Hairspray on cable TV.
I saw the trailer for The Visit some weeks back and I thought it looked promising. Plus, my sister couldn’t stop talking about it.
Everyone was saying that this is the movie that redeems M. Night Shyamalan who, after his box office success with Sixth Sense and maybe a couple more movies, kinda lost his magic as seen in his films that followed. Now, my family’s idea of quality bonding time is watching thrillers, horror, and suspense movies in the bedroom while munching on chips… and we completely enjoyed this movie.
The Visit packs strong acting performances from it’s young heroes (the boy from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was one of the leads), a well laid out atmosphere, lots of creepy, bone-chilling, WTF moments, and a very disturbing twist. I love that the climax leaves you quite satisfied. Endings like that of The Skeleton Key are all well and good but sometimes, all you need is a story that doesn’t keep you awake at night, your mind searching for answers.
That said, The Visit is a definite must-see. And oh, that soiled-diaper-in-the-face scene is definitely one for the books.
Technically, I did not see the entire movie. I was about to go to bed, surfing channels, when I caught Hairspray on cable at around the half-time mark. I’ve seen few movie-musicals but I don’t actively seek them out; I have to be in the mood to watch. But then I saw fat-woman John Travolta and Zac Efron, then singing and dancing started, and I was helpless. I had to see the movie to the end.
Production design? Gorgeous. I admit I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs (sorry, ok?) but the dancing was super adorable and energizing. Watching made me wish I know the steps so I can dance along while I watch. And the fashion, ohhh the fashion. On. Point. It’s a nice feel-good story that touches on important themes without being too heavy. And of course, Christopher Walken dancing is always a joy to watch.
(Sometime soon I’ll finally get around to watching Les Miserables.)
Learned about his movie through one of the blogs I follow, Taste of Cinema. When I checked out the trailer and saw Elijah Wood, I thought “wow, that young man is a dead-ringer for Elijah Wood.” Turns out it is Elijah, looking as young as ever.
Seeing that it could be just another zombie movie, I wasn’t expecting much. But boy, was it a crazy, fun ride! We completely enjoyed this movie. As the story goes, the infection only affects kids and there’s this group of teachers (including Elijah, whose character as a substitute teacher slash aspiring novelist is funny and charming) who find themselves trapped inside a school when the pandemic spread.
Some may be uncomfortable over the idea of adults bludgeoning their way past zombie-kids (who are unbelievably agile and seem smarter than your average zombie)–they’re still kids after all–but meh. Having seen movies like Come Out and Play where [SPOILER] evil kids totally owned the hapless adults, [/SPOILER] you just know that you gotta do what you gotta do in the event that you find yourself in such a freaky situation, amirite?
And it’s not like the teachers lacked any moral guilt in having to kill children to survive. Plus, I bet it was a load of fun shooting on the part of the young actors. Enjoyable movie all in all, with hilarious moments and adorably dorky characters, your typical Asian badass included.
So that was a pretty good start of the year, viewing wise. Excited to see more great films this year.