At some point you have to wonder whether it would be a greater twist for an M Night Shyamalan film not to have one. It’s become such a trope of his style that people go into his films looking to second guess the narrative, often ruining the suspense he actually has a knack for creating. The Visit does not escape that pattern, and in fact holds a blatantly obvious reveal that even your senile relatives will spot a mile off. Alongside a rotting script with amateurish exposition (watch out for those phobias kids!), you struggle to see anything below the surface in this one, with the grandparents facial expressions bringing much of the horror without the need for editing.
Knowing all too well where the film is going reduces the impact of the third act, but fortunately there’s enough bare-bones suspense and chills to keep the film at least somewhat captivating. I agree on some level that this film may have received more praise if it was the opening feature for an indie-film maker, but with Shyamalan brings expectation (even with a back catalogue of flops) and this slides away because of it. At least his return to thrillers can save us from the true horrors of another fantasy movie.