Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents' disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation.Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents' disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation.Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents' disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation.
There are no viral outbreaks, no creatures chasing Will Smith, and no air benders. It's simply two kids visiting their grandparents while their single mother goes on vacation.
I've noticed that M. Night does his best work when he puts the focus on ONE main story and lets the other dynamics and plots unfold around that story. In Signs, he focused on Mel Gibson's crumbling family life with an alien invasion as a backdrop. In this film, he puts the focus on the two children's relationship and lets the rest of the film follow suit. Anywho, enough about that.
This movie has the essential elements of a creepy movie. House in the middle of the woods, crazy lunatics for grandparents, and a couple of tech savvy teenagers.
The film is shot in found footage style which has definitely been done to death, but is not "in your face" in this movie. M. Night cleverly writes the teenage girl in the movie as a film buff who focuses on cinematography and "setting the mood," which allows him to use depth of field, good lighting, and good framing unlike other FF style movies like Paranormal Activity, etc which are more jumpy and gopro-ish. The visuals and camera work are refreshingly crisp and smooth, given the method of filming
From day one, you can tell that something isn't right with the grandparents and the kids decide to set up cameras and capture the action. Long story short, things get crazy.
The most surprising thing about this film is how naturally comedy, suspense, and overt horror are blended together. Nothing really felt forced or unnatural in acting, pace, or action. At some points the horror felt a little campy, but that can't really be avoided with so much humor in the movie and most of the people I saw the movie with were cool with that.
Looking back on it, the twists were somewhat predictable but at the time I was so engrossed with the movie I didn't even notice the plot twist creep up.
Great movie and I really hope M. Night can continue with this excellence! see this movie if you can!!
- Oct 8, 2015