The Visit

”are you consciously aware that that’s my intention? i hate sappy movies, i find them torturous”

the rare found footage film that deals productively with the tensions between the format’s pretensions to naturalism and its actual self-conscious theatricality, between digital’s capabilities for beautiful imagemaking and the unsettling coldness it tends to inflect images with. something of an ur-text (or preliminary investigation) for what Shyamalan was about to do in Split, insofar as he’s interrogating the way exploitation functions as an inevitable (but, crucially, not immoral) result of honest adherence to genre, and how performative deference to bourgeois norms of respectability actually serves to obfuscate traumatic histories. maybe a camera is better suited to bludgeoning open a door than it is to capturing the interior reality of personhood. Shyamalan has ascended to the heavens on wings of cringe and i will follow him gladly

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