Somebody help me out here, please I must be seeing a different film to everyone else.I, like many, enjoyed the early works of Mr Shyamalan in particular the fantastic unbreakable, I even enjoyed the polarizing film signs, then as everyone alive witnessed, we saw pretty much everything he produced tank and tank very badly. Now here we are with a return from
I, like many, enjoyed the early works of Mr Shyamalan in particular the fantastic unbreakable, I even enjoyed the polarizing film signs, then as everyone alive witnessed, we saw pretty much everything he produced tank and tank very badly. Now here we are with a return from Mr Shyamalan coupled with a new partnership with mighty successful Blumhouse productions. I was surprised that his return was in the form of a found footage thriller/horror but thinking about it for 30 seconds it makes sense. No large film company would currently invest heavily in his productions as the risk is too high of turning in a negative profit as most of his films of late have lost considerable amounts of investment. So he and blumhouse probably came to the conclusion that a low budget film production would be a good start for this relationship they are developing. This has turned out to be a very lucrative decision as the film went on to make many times the amount invested and it was received incredibly well by some critics and many fans of the genre. I am not one of these people and this is where I need help and guidance because I must be missing something.
I’ll try and not give away spoilers but we know that pretty much all of his films have the token twist at the end, and as soon as I read a synopsis before even seeing a trailer I had guessed spot on what the final punch would be. I don’t remember word for word the exact dialogue but it said something to the effect of “a brother and sister go to stay with their grandparents, who they have never seen or met, and document their experience”, and from this information I concluded the entire film. From start to finish it was just so predictable and the scares come fairly infrequently and when they do, you just get the feeling of having seen this all before. There seemed a large lack of originality and felt like the script was written on the back of a napkin. The performance from the elderly couple was 100% adequate for the film they were in. the protagonists performance, bro and sis, was cringworthy at best and utterly terrible at worst. The dialogue to me was ear scraping bad and felt unnatural throughout especially considering that the film takes place in the one location, albeit there are a few areas of this location it still feels restricted. The premise of found footage / mockumentary style storytelling is realism, this is why so many have worked so well, the reactions felt real in films such as the Blair witch project, the frustrations and confrontations all felt justified and their fear leaked out of the screen and this was probably down to the fact most of the dialogue was adlibbed and unscripted, and this technique has been adopted many in this style of storytelling. The visit felt completely scripted, it almost felt that they were literally reading from an autocue behind the field of view.
The filming did not feel natural in most cases, I felt there was so many instances of situations where you felt there would be no way you’d film as most of the film was from the point of view of the sister with a digital handy cam.
I can’t not throw this in, I am a fan of hip hop, rap music, but after a number of scenes involving the brother freestyling on a train whilst an African American train conductor nods away like he is listening to biggie smalls in a street rap battle I could not listen to real hip hop for days without getting a serious case of the douche chills, you know what scenes I’m talking about, don’t deny it and don’t defend it!
This, for me, is one of shyamalans most embarrassingly bad films, up there with ‘after earth’ but 90% of people I know and who’s opinions on film I respect, enjoyed this pile up and I even read some very prominent film critics praising this return to form from its director. IV now watched this twice, and the second time was so much worse than the first. As stated before, the films conclusion was completely predictable and the behaviour of the characters in the final scenes were laughable. With this in mind, what am I missing? I cannot get my head around what people are saying is a return to form, really? Do people rate this alongside unbreakable or even the sixth sense which got nods from the academy?
Why am I in the minority on this one? This film is bad, bad, bad, bad. The only good thing to come from this was that it helped M Night Shyamalan secure investment for his follow up film ‘split’, which is definitely the return to form that people are pretending this is.
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