Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their cosy house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez. Mike and Tony are ... See full summary »
Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their cosy house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez. Mike and Tony are old acquaintances of Bill; a few years back, in Vietnam, they were in the same platoon. They also became opposed parties in a court martial - for a reason that Bill never explained to Martha. What happened in Vietnam, and what is the reason for the presence of Mike and Tony ? Written by
Eduardo Casais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bill (James Woods) and his wife Martha (Patricia Joyce) are spending time with their son when two of Bill's former Vietnam buddies (Steve Railsback, Chico Martinez) show up. The wife isn't sure what the two are doing there but the secret is that both of them just got done doing time for rape, which Bill turned them in on. THE VISITORS isn't really the type of film you'd expect from someone like Elia Kazan but after viewing the film and seeing that he was going for a psychological type thriller, I can see why he was hired but in the end I don't think the film works. What we basically got is a thriller that doesn't want action but instead it wants to make the viewer think and it wants to turn these thoughts into a nightmare. I don't think there's any doubt that Kazan, working with a screenplay written by his son, wanted the viewer to sit in the dark fearing what these two dangerous men were going to do to the man who turned them in. Kazan directs the film in an extremely slow way as all of the scenes just drag on and it really does seem that the thing runs much longer than its 88-minutes. Kazan's slow style wouldn't have been a problem had the dialogue been better. The majority of the film is just slow, drawn out dialogue sequences but the problem is that they're boring. Not once did I get caught up in anything going on and in fact the highlight of the movie is a sequence where the wife's father (Patrick McVey) has a neighbors dog killed. The film is trying to say something about Vietnam, friendship, loyalty and several other things but everything just gets so muddled that you can't help but start yawning. The performances from the five people are all good and it's this that keeps the film working. THE VISITORS isn't quite as graphic as its reputation would have you believe but it does have the feel of something like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. In fact, the visual look of this film compares highly to the Wes Craven shocker that was released the previous year.
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