PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 17:  M. Night Shymalan attends the 2015 Fox All-Star Party at Langham Hotel on January 17, 2015 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
TV - Movies
The Ending Of
The Visit
M. Night Shyamalan is notorious for using dramatic twists towards the endings of his films, some of which are pulled off perfectly and add an extra layer of depth to a sprawling story. While some of the director's other twist endings feel more like a stunt and lack any extra subtext or hidden meaning.
Shyamalan's 2015 found-footage horror-comedy The Visit, which he wrote and directed, definitely fits in the latter category, aiming for style over substance. From the beginning, Shyamalan creates a false sense of security that is shattered when it’s confirmed that "Nana" and "Pop-Pop" are really escapees from a local psychiatric hospital.
But the Jamison kids don't take things lying down: They fight back, in vicious fashion, a subversion of yet another expectation that young teens might wait for adults or law enforcement officers to arrive before doing away with their tormentors. By the time Becca stabs "Nana" to death and Tyler has repeatedly slammed "Pop-Pop’s” head with the refrigerator door, their mother and the police finally arrive to pick up the pieces.
In a last-ditch attempt at adding an emotional undertone, Shyamalan reveals Loretta left home after a huge argument with her parents, but she was too stubborn to attempt a reconciliation. One could take a domino-effect perspective and say that Loretta's stubbornness and her sustained distance from her parents put her children in the vulnerable position they end up in.
The Visit tries to deliver a message about the importance of breaking old habits, working through your fears, and the consequences of leaving breakdowns in familial relationships unresolved. Whether it actually sticks the landing on all of those points is still up for debate.