In his attempt at creating a thrilling film about two teenage siblings visit and meet their grandparents for the first time, M. Night Shyamalan fails to scare the audience and even takes away from the slight terror that he builds in small moments with his comedic interpretations of the situation.
The audience laughed more than they screamed or gasped in fear of what happened or what was coming next. The film was lacking in suspense and effect that built up to “scary” (not-so-scary) moments where the grandma runs around the house or pops up in front of the camera unexpectedly.
Siblings, aspiring filmmaker Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and wanna-be rapper Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) go on vacation to their grandparents’ farm in Pennsylvania. The twist in the film is that the grandparents they arrive to have no relation to them. They are patients at a local mental hospital that their real grandparents volunteered at.
The movie is in a documentary style, where Becca is the one filming most of the scenes in order to make a documentary for their mom when they get back home. Scenes show the kids interviewing their grandparents in order to get closure for their hard-working single mother, who disobediently ran off with her boyfriend at the age of 19, leaving a TIFF in the family for the next 17 years.
Since their father left when they were kids, Tyler has acquired a fear of germs and was shocked to see that his fake grandfather has bladder problems and keeps his soiled diapers in the shed. At the end of the movie, Becca is locked in the dark bedroom with her crazy fake grandma and is forced to face her fear of mirrors by shattering it in order to make a weapon to kill the grandma who was attacking her. The grandfather has Tyler frozen in fear and smears one of his used diapers all over his face, causing him major discomfort, further terrifying him. Eventually after killing the grandma, Becca comes to Tyler’s rescue and helps him kill the grandfather and get to the safety of the local police and their mother.
Though the movie concludes with a happy ending for the kids and closure for their mother, Shyamalan won’t have a happy ending with this review. The movie was lacking in effects and doesn’t keep the viewer engaged and interested throughout the movie. The comedic twist takes away from the slight bit of scare that the movie is already to intended to have and is just lacking in depth all together. I like the story line but wish the movie was carried out a little better with more attention to detail.