When I was little, I had an extremely shy personality. Whenever my parents had guests over, I would always hide in my room, hoping so much that they wouldn’t call me out to introduce myself.
Probably the biggest phobia I had was the elderly. Senior citizens would always greet me with their wrinkled smiles, and I’d shake uncontrollably if I was forced to sit on their lap. Maybe the root of that fear was how big they were—aged giants speaking about things I didn’t understand.
This specific fear is long gone by now, but I suppose you could say there are still remnants. I’m still not particularly comfortable speaking with those who are much older than me. Maybe it’s the difference in experience which I find so intimidating. Who knows?
So now that we’re halfway through October, I figured I might as well continue my journey into horror movies with a film that has crazy old people that are trying to kill you. Quite a specific niche, right? Or maybe not; I have a lack of horror movie knowledge to begin with.
As always, searching Google for “Horror movie with murderous old ladies” provided an abundant list of things both relevant and irrelevant. I managed to eye a new production by M. Night Shyamalan, whose latest works have been downright terrible to say the least. But hey, why not? I’ve had a long week so let’s not be picky.
This new film, “The Visit”, was another recorded footage-type film similar to “Paranormal Activity” or “’The Blair Witch Project”. However, what made it so different was the point of view.
The film itself is about a pair of kids who stay with their grandparents for a few days, and they record everything that happens during that time. The kicker here is that this is the first instance these kids have ever seen their grandparents. With just that piece of knowledge, you already know something terrible and morbid is going to happen.
And with that, shenanigans creepily ensue. The kids are warned by their grandparents to not go outside their room by 9:30 PM. Of course, kids will be kids and horror tropes will be horror tropes. They decide to venture outside with their camera after hearing strange noises.
Unafraid of any imminent danger, they see their grandmother desperately scratching at the walls in the living room, only to quickly return to their room before being noticed by the crazy grandma.
More of these types of things happen as the kids spend their days trapped in this dungeon of a house. The grandmother is seen staring into space, pretending to hang herself, stuffing one of the kids into the oven, etc. The grandfather does some crazy things as well, although he’s the one that tries to convince the kids everything is A-OK.
By the end of the film, there was the classic Shyamalan plot twist in which dead bodies are discovered, and the climax reveals how the characters were full of lies, deceit and homicidal bloodthirstiness.
Everything happening in this movie was basically a specific collection of my childhood nightmares: demented people between the ages of 60 and 80 who were out to get me for purposes unknown (although whatever their motivation is, it would always turn out badly for me by the end of these nightmares). Whether I wanted to or not, avoiding older people ended up becoming my toddler-self’s natural survival instinct, and “The Visit” got me reactivating it to get through the story.
At least now I know those who are older can be very wise, and have many experiences that they wish to share for posterity. I love that of course — old people are great sources of life advice, knowledge and stories.
Horror movie elders, on the other hand, need to get locked up to save their potential victims from a terrifying and life-scarring experience.
Either way, I’m aging day by day. When I become all old and wrinkly, I hope I’ll become that cool old man that people love listening to instead of the cranky old dude that kids are afraid of.