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M. Night Shyamalan had his heyday almost 20 years ago. He leapt out of the gate with such confidence he became a champion instantly. And then...something went awry. He became embarrassingly self-serious, his films drowning in pretension and strained allegories. His famous twists felt like a director attempting to re-create the triumph of " The Sixth Sense ," where the twist of the film was so successfully withheld from audiences that people went back to see the film again and again. But now, here comes " The Visit ," a film so purely entertaining that you almost forget how scary it is. With all its terror, "The Visit" is an extremely funny film.
There are too many horror cliches to even list ("gotcha" scares, dark basements, frightened children, mysterious sounds at night, no cellphone reception), but the main cliche is that it is a "found footage" film, a style already wrung dry. But Shyamalan injects adrenaline into it, as well as a frank admission that, yes, it is a cliche, and yes, it is absurd that one would keep filming in moments of such terror, but he uses the main strength of found footage: we are trapped by the perspective of the person holding the camera. Withhold visual information, lull the audience into safety, then turn the camera, and OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT?
"The Visit" starts quietly, with Mom ( Kathryn Hahn ) talking to the camera about running away from home when she was 19: her parents disapproved of her boyfriend. She had two kids with this man who recently left them all for someone new. Mom has a brave demeanor, and funny, too, referring to her kids as "brats" but with mama-bear affection. Her parents cut ties with her, but now they have reached out from their snowy isolated farm and want to know their grandchildren. Mom packs the two kids off on a train for a visit.
Shyamalan breaks up the found footage with still shots of snowy ranks of trees, blazing sunsets, sunrise falling on a stack of logs. There are gigantic blood-red chapter markers: "TUESDAY MORNING", etc. These choices launch us into the overblown operatic horror style while commenting on it at the same time. It ratchets up the dread.
Becca ( Olivia DeJonge ) and Tyler ( Ed Oxenbould ) want to make a film about their mother's lost childhood home, a place they know well from all of her stories. Becca has done her homework about film-making, and instructs her younger brother about "frames" and "mise-en-scène." Tyler, an appealing gregarious kid, keeps stealing the camera to film the inside of his mouth and his improvised raps. Becca sternly reminds him to focus.
The kids are happy to meet their grandparents. They are worried about the effect their grandparents' rejection had on their mother (similar to Cole's worry about his mother's unfinished business with her own parent in "The Sixth Sense"). Becca uses a fairy-tale word to explain what she wants their film to do — it will be an "elixir" to bring home to Mom.
Nana ( Deanna Dunagan ), at first glance, is a Grandma out of a storybook, with a grey bun, an apron, and muffins coming out of the oven every hour. Pop Pop ( Peter McRobbie ) is a taciturn farmer who reminds the kids constantly that he and Nana are "old."
But almost immediately, things get crazy. What is Pop Pop doing out in the barn all the time? Why does Nana ask Becca to clean the oven, insisting that she crawl all the way in ? What are those weird sounds at night from outside their bedroom door? They have a couple of Skype calls with Mom, and she reassures them their grandparents are "weird" but they're also old, and old people are sometimes cranky, sometimes paranoid.
As the weirdness intensifies, Becca and Tyler's film evolves from an origin-story documentary to a mystery-solving investigation. They sneak the camera into the barn, underneath the house, they place it on a cabinet in the living room overnight, hoping to get a glimpse of what happens downstairs after they go to bed. What they see is more than they (and we) bargained for.
Dunagan and McRobbie play their roles with a melodramatic relish, entering into the fairy-tale world of the film. And the kids are great, funny and distinct. Tyler informs his sister that he wants to stop swearing so much, and instead will say the names of female pop singers. The joke is one that never gets old. He falls, and screams, "Sarah McLachlan!" When terrified, he whispers to himself, " Katy Perry ... " Tyler, filming his sister, asks her why she never looks in the mirror. "Your sweater is on backwards." As he grills her, he zooms in on her, keeping her face off-center, blurry grey-trunked trees filling most of the screen. The blur is the mystery around them. Cinematographer Maryse Alberti creates the illusion that the film is being made by kids, but also avoids the nauseating hand-held stuff that dogs the found-footage style.
When the twist comes, and you knew it was coming because Shyamalan is the director, it legitimately shocks. Maybe not as much as "The Sixth Sense" twist, but it is damn close. (The audience I saw it with gasped and some people screamed in terror.) There are references to " Halloween ", "Psycho" (Nana in a rocking chair seen from behind), and, of course, " Paranormal Activity "; the kids have seen a lot of movies, understand the tropes and try to recreate them themselves.
"The Visit" represents Shyamalan cutting loose, lightening up, reveling in the improvisational behavior of the kids, their jokes, their bickering, their closeness. Horror is very close to comedy. Screams of terror often dissolve into hysterical laughter, and he uses that emotional dovetail, its tension and catharsis, in almost every scene. The film is ridiculous on so many levels, the story playing out like the most monstrous version of Hansel & Gretel imaginable, and in that context, "ridiculous" is the highest possible praise.
Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .
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The Visit (2015)
Rated PG-13 disturbing thematic material including terror, violence and some nudity, and for brief language
Kathryn Hahn as Mother
Ed Oxenbould as Tyler Jamison
Benjamin Kanes as Dad
Peter McRobbie as Pop-Pop
Olivia DeJonge as Rebecca Jamison
Deanna Dunagan as Nana
- M. Night Shyamalan
- Maryse Alberti
- Luke Franco Ciarrocch
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The Ending Of The Visit Explained
Contains spoilers for 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 (hello, Split ). Some of the director's other offerings simply keep the audience on their toes rather than having 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.
The Visit follows 15-year-old Becca Jamison (Olivia DeJonge) and her 13-year-old brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) when they spend the week with their mother's estranged parents, who live in another town. Loretta (played by WandaVision 's Kathryn Hahn ) never explained to her children why she separated herself away from her parents, but clearly hopes the weekend could help bring the family back together.
Although The Visit occasionally toys with themes of abandonment and fear of the unknown, it wasn't particularly well-received by critics on its initial release, as many struggled with its bizarre comedic tone in the found-footage style. So, after Tyler and his camera record a number of disturbing occurrences like Nana (Deanna Dunagan) projectile-vomiting in the middle of the night and discovering "Pop Pop"'s (Peter McRobbie) mountain of used diapers, it soon becomes clear that something isn't right with the grandparents.
Here's the ending of The Visit explained.
The Visit's twist plays on expectations
Because Shyamalan sets up the idea of the separation between Loretta and her parents very early on — and doesn't show their faces before Becca and Tyler meet them — the film automatically creates a false sense of security. Even more so since the found-footage style restricts the use of typical exposition methods like flashbacks or other scenes which would indicate that Nana and Pop Pop aren't who they say they are. Audiences have no reason to expect that they're actually two escapees from a local psychiatric facility.
The pieces all come together once Becca discovers her real grandparents' corpses in the basement, along with some uniforms from the psychiatric hospital. It confirms "Nana" and "Pop-Pop" escaped from the institution and murdered the Jamisons because they were a similar age, making it easy to hide their whereabouts from the authorities. And they would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids.)
However, after a video call from Loretta reveals that the pair aren't her parents, the children are forced to keep up appearances — but the unhinged duo start to taunt the siblings. Tyler in particular is forced to face his fear of germs as "Pop Pop" wipes dirty diapers in his face. The germophobia is something Shyamalan threads through Tyler's character throughout The Visit, and the encounter with "Pop Pop" is a basic attempt of showing he's gone through some kind of trial-by-fire to get over his fears.
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 would wait for adults or law enforcement officers to arrive before doing away with their tormentors.
Its real message is about reconciliation
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 do 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. She hit her mother, and her father hit her in return. But Loretta explains that reconciliation was always on the table if she had stopped being so stubborn and just reached out. One could take a domino-effect perspective and even say that Loretta's stubbornness about not reconnecting and her sustained distance from her parents put them in exactly the vulnerable position they needed to be for "Nana" and "Pop-Pop" to murder them.
Loretta's confession actually mirrors something "Pop-Pop" told Tyler (before his run-in with the refrigerator door): that he and "Nana" wanted to spend one week as a normal family before dying. They should've thought about that before murdering a pair of innocent grandparents, but here we are.
So, is The Visit trying to say that if we don't keep our families together, they'll be replaced by imposters and terrify our children? Well, probably not. The Visit tries to deliver a message about breaking away from old habits, working through your fears, and stop being so stubborn over arguments that don't have any consequences in the long-run. Whether it actually sticks the landing on all of those points is still up for debate.
The Visit Explained (Plot And Ending)
The Visit is a 2015 horror thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It follows two siblings who visit their estranged grandparents only to discover something is very wrong with them. As the children try to uncover the truth, they are increasingly terrorized by their grandparents’ bizarre behaviour. Here’s the plot and ending of The Visit explained; spoilers ahead.
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Oh, and if this article doesn’t answer all of your questions, drop me a comment or an FB chat message, and I’ll get you the answer . You can find other film explanations using the search option on top of the site.
Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:
- – The Story
- – Plot Explained
- – Ending Explained
- – The Sense Of Dread
- – Separation, Remorse, and Personal Fears
- – Frequently Asked Questions Answered
- – Wrap Up
What is the story of The Visit?
The Visit is about two kids visiting their grandparents for the first time. They are also going there to hope and rebuild a bridge between their mom and grandparents and help their mom heal after a painful divorce. The movie is in documentary form.
The Visit is one of the most unnerving and realistic horror stories. A good thing about classic horror movies is that, after the movie ends, you can switch it off and go to bed, knowing that you’re safe . Vampires, ghosts, and demonic powers don’t exist, and even if you are prone to these kinds of esoteric beliefs, there are safeguards. If your home is not built in an Indian burial ground and you haven’t bought any creepy-looking dolls from your local antiquary, you’re perfectly safe.
However, what about the idea of two kids spending five days with two escaped psychiatric ward patients in a remote farmhouse? Now, this is a thought that will send shivers down your spine. It’s a story that sounds not just realistic but real. It’s something that might have happened in the past or might happen in the future.
This is what The Visit is all about . This idea, coupled with documentary-form storytelling, is why the movie is so unnerving to watch.
The Visit: Plot Explained
As a young girl, Loretta Jamison fell in love with her high school teacher and decided to skip her hometown with him. Before leaving, she had a heated altercation with her parents and hasn’t seen them since. At the movie’s start, she is a single mom of 15-year-old Becca and 14-year-old Tyler, and she hasn’t spoken to her parents in 15 years .
What really happened on the day Loretta left?
Loretta’s mom tries to stop her from leaving the house, and Loretta hits her mom, and her dad hits her. Soon after, her parents try to reach out to Loretta, but she refuses to take their calls, and years go by.
Meet The Grandparents
Years later, Loretta’s parents reach out to meet their grandchildren . The grandparents are, seemingly, wholly reformed and now even help at the local psychiatric hospital. Although initially not too fond of the idea, Loretta is persuaded by the insistence of her children. While she had no intention of visiting the parents, she permitted her children to pay their grandparents a five-day visit.
At The Grandparents’
Their first meeting with Nana and Pop Pop starts on the right foot. They start getting to know each other, and other than a simple generational gap, nothing seems too strange. The only thing that seems off is that they are warned not to leave the room after 9:30 in the evening .
The kids break this rule, and on the first night, they notice Nana acting erratically , projectile vomiting, scratching wallpaper with her bare hands, and running around the house on all fours. Grandpa appears paranoid and hides his adult diapers in the garden shed, and the situation escalates each day.
The Visit Ending Explained: What happens in the end?
The ending of Visit has the kids finally showing the elderly couple to Loretta. She, completely horrified, states that those are not her parents . The pair posing as Pop Pop and Nana are escaped psychiatric institution patients who murdered their grandparents and took their places.
The kids survive, kill their captors, and are found alive and well by their mom and the police. Becca kills Nana with a shard from the mirror, thus symbolically overcoming her fear of her reflection. Tyler kills Pop Pop by repeatedly slamming him in the head with a refrigerator door after overcoming his germaphobia and anxiety about freezing.
The Sense Of Dread
The elements of horror in this movie are just perfectly executed . First of all, the film is shot as a documentary. Becca is an aspiring filmmaker who records the entire trip with her camera. From time to time, we see an interview of all the characters, which just serves as the perfect vessel for characterization.
No Ghouls or Cults
Another thing that evokes dread is realism . There are no supernatural beings or demonic forces. It’s just two kids alone in a remote farmstead with two creepy, deranged people. Even in the end, when Loretta finds out what’s happening, it takes her hours to get there with the police. The scariest part is that it’s not that hard to imagine something along those lines really happening.
The house itself is dread-inducing . The place is old and rustic. Like in The Black Phone soundproofing a room could have prevented kids from hearing Nana rummaging around the house without a clear idea of what was happening, but this was not the case, as the old couple weren’t that capable.
The characters themselves are perfectly played . Something is unnerving about Pop Pop and Nana from the very first scene. It’s the Uncanny Valley scenario where you feel that something’s off and shakes you to the core, but you have no idea what it is.
Separation, Remorse, and Personal Fears
What this movie does the best is explore the ugly side of separation, old grudges, and remorse . The main reason why kids are insistent on visiting their grandparents is out of their desire to help their mom.
They see she’s remorseful for never working things out with her parents . In light of her failed marriage and the affair that caused it to end, she might live with the doubt that her parents were right all along. This makes her decision and altercation with her parents even worse. Reconciling when you know you were wrong is harder than forgiving the person who wronged you.
The Kids’ Perspective
There are personal fears and traumas of the kids . Tyler, in his childish naivete, is convinced that his father left because he was disappointed in him as a son. Tyler tells Becca that he froze during one game he played, which disappointed his dad so much that he had to leave. While this sounds ridiculous to any adult (and even Becca), it’s a matter of fact to Tyler. As a result of this trauma, Tyler also developed germaphobia. In Becca’s own words, this gives him a greater sense of control.
On the other hand, Becca refuses to look at herself in the mirror or stand in front of the camera if she can help it. Both kids had to overcome their fears to survive , which is a solid and clear metaphor for how these things sometimes turn out in real life.
Frequently Asked Questions Answered
The visit: what’s wrong with the grandparents who are the grandparents.
The people who hosted Becca and Tyler were runaway psychiatric hospital patients who murdered the real grandparents and took their place. Nana’s impostor (Claire) was actually responsible for murdering her children by drowning them in a well. Pop Pop’s impostor (Mitchell) wanted to give Claire a second chance at having kids / being a grandparent.
How did the imposter grandparents know about the kids’ visit?
It appears Claire and Mitchell hear the real Nana and Pop Pop brag about their grandkids’ visit. They also learned that neither the grandparents nor the kids had seen each other. The real grandparents appear to have been consulting in the same hospital Claire and Mitchell were being treated. The two crazies take this opportunity to break out, kill the real grandparents and go to the station to pick up the children.
The Visit: What is Sinmorfitellia?
Claire and Mitchell believe that Sinmorfitellia is an alien planet, and the creatures from there lurk on Earth. They spit into the waters of wells and ponds all day, which can put people into a deep sleep. They take sleeping with the fishes quite literally. Long ago, Claire drowned her children believing they would go to Sinmorfitellia.
The Visit: What happened to the real grandparents?
Claire and Mitchel killed Nana and Pop Pop and put them in the basement. This information went unnoticed because Becca’s laptop’s camera was damaged by Nana, so Loretta could not confirm the imposters. Claire and Mitchel were not present every time someone came to visit, so no one suspected foul play except Stacey, who received help from the real grandparents. As a result, she is killed.
What did Claire and Mitchel intend to do?
They plan to go to Sinmorfitellia with Becca and Tyler. They all plan to die on that last night and enter the well, which they believe is their path to the alien planet where they can be happy together. This is perhaps why the grandparents hang Stacey outside the house because they don’t care about being caught.
The Visit: What’s wrong with Nana?
We don’t know what caused Nana’s mental illness, but she was crazy enough to kill her two children by putting them in suitcases and drowning them in a pond. It appears she suffers from schizophrenia as she has delusions.
The Visit: Wrap Up
From the standpoint of horror, The Visit has it all. An unnerving realistic scenario, real-life trauma, and an atmosphere of fear. Combine this with some of the best acting work in the genre and a documentary-style movie, and you’ve got yourself a real masterpiece.
On the downside, the movie leaves you with a lot of open questions like:
- Considering the kids have never seen the grandparents and are going alone, Loretta didn’t ensure her kids knew what her parents looked like?
- How are Claire and Mitchell out and about so close to the hospital without being caught?
- Considering they are mentally ill, how did Claire and Mitchell plot such a thorough plan? (e.g. strategically damaging the camera of the laptop)
- I understand Suspension Of Disbelief in horror films, but neither kids drop their cameras despite the terror they go through only so we, the audience, can get the entire narrative?
What were your thoughts on the plot and ending of the movie The Visit? Drop your comments below!
Stacey is a talented freelance writer passionate about all things pop culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a natural talent for storytelling. She’s a super-fan of Game of Thrones, Cats, and Indie Rock Music and can often be found engrossed in complex films and books. Connect with her on her social media handles to learn more about her work and interests.
Film Review: ‘The Visit’
M. Night Shyamalan returns to thriller filmmaking in the style of low-budget impresario Jason Blum with mixed results.
By Geoff Berkshire
Associate Editor, Features
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After delivering back-to-back creative and commercial duds in the sci-fi action genre, M. Night Shyamalan retreats to familiar thriller territory with “ The Visit .” As far as happy homecomings go, it beats the one awaiting his characters, though not by much. The story of two teens spending a week with the creepy grandparents they’ve never met unfolds in a mockumentary style that’s new for the filmmaker and old hat for horror auds. Heavier on comic relief (most of it intentional) than genuine scares, this low-budget oddity could score decent opening weekend B.O. and ultimately find a cult following thanks to its freakier twists and turns, but hardly represents a return to form for its one-time Oscar-nominated auteur.
In a way, it’s a relief to see Shyamalan set aside the studio-system excesses of “The Last Airbender” and “After Earth” and get down and dirty with a found-footage-style indie crafted in the spirit of producer Jason Blum’s single location chillers. (Blum actually joined the project after filming wrapped, but it subscribes to his patented “Paranormal Activity” playbook to a T.) Except that the frustrating result winds up on the less haunting end of Shyamalan’s filmography, far south of “The Sixth Sense,” “Signs” and “The Village,” and not even as unsettling as the most effective moments in the hokey “The Happening.”
That’s not to say “The Visit” is necessarily worse than some of those efforts, just a different kind of animal. The simplicity of the premise initially works in the pic’s favor as 15-year-old aspiring documentarian Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her 13-year-old aspiring-rap-star sibling Tyler (Ed Oxenbould of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”) say goodbye to their hard-working single mom (Kathryn Hahn, better than the fleeting role deserves), who ships off on a weeklong cruise with her latest boyfriend. The kids travel by train to rural Pennsylvania to meet Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie), the purportedly kindly parents Mom left behind when she took off with her high-school English teacher and caused a permanent rift in the family.
Becca plans to turn the whole experience into an Oscar-caliber documentary (proving she sets her sights higher than Shyamalan these days) and also an opportunity to exorcise the personal demons both she and Tyler carry around in the wake of their parents’ separation. Unfortunately for the kids, their grandparents appear to be possessed by demons of another kind — although it takes an awfully long time for them to grow legitimately concerned about Nana’s nasty habit of roaming the house at night, vomiting on the floor and scratching at the walls in the nude, and Pop Pop’s almost-as-bizarre behavior, including stuffing a woodshed full of soiled adult diapers, attacking a stranger on the street and regularly dressing in formal wear for a “costume party” that never materializes.
Ominous warnings to not go into the basement (because of “mold,” you see) and stay in their room after 9:30 (Nana’s “bedtime”) fly right over the heads of our otherwise pop-culture-savvy protagonists. Becca even stubbornly refuses to use her omnipresent camera for nighttime reconnaissance, citing concerns over exploitation and “cinematic standards” — one of the lamest excuses yet to justify dumb decisions in a horror narrative — until the weeklong stay is almost up.
Shyamalan has long been criticized for serving up borderline (or downright) silly premises with a straight face and overtly pretentious atmosphere, but he basically abandons that approach here in favor of a looser, more playful dynamic between his fresh-faced leads. At the same time, there’s a surreal campiness to the grandparents’ seemingly inexplicable behavior, fully embraced by Tony winner Dunagan and Scottish character actor McRobbie, that encourages laughter between ho-hum jump scares. Their antics only reach full-blown menacing in the perverse-by-PG-13-standards third act. (The obligatory reveal of what’s really going on works OK, as long as you don’t question it any more than anyone onscreen ever does.)
Even if there’s less chance the audience will burst out in fits of inappropriate chuckles, as was often the case in, say, “The Happening” or “Lady in the Water,” Shyamalan still can’t quite pull off the delicate tonal balance he’s after. Once events ultimately do turn violent — and Nana does more than just scamper around the floor or pop up directly in front of the camera — the setpieces are never as scary or suspenseful as they should be. Even worse are the film’s attempts at character-driven drama, including a couple of awkward soul-baring monologues from the otherwise poised young stars, and a ludicrous epilogue that presumes auds will have somehow formed an emotional bond with characters who actually remain skin-deep throughout. One longs to see what a nervier filmmaker could have done with the concept (and a R rating).
The technical package is deliberately less slick than the Shyamalan norm, although scripting Becca as a budding filmmaker interested in mise en scene provides d.p. Maryse Alberti (whose numerous doc credits include multiple Alex Gibney features) an excuse to capture images with a bit more craft than the average found footage thriller. Shyamalan purposefully decided to forego an original score, but the soundtrack is rarely silent between the chattering of the children, a selection of source music and the eerie sound editing that emphasizes every creaking door and loud crash substituting for well-earned frights.
Reviewed at Arclight Cinemas, Hollywood, Sept. 8, 2015. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 94 MIN.
- Production: A Universal release of a Blinding Edge Pictures and Blumhouse production. Produced by Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock, M. Night Shyamalan. Executive producers, Steven Schneider, Ashwin Rajan.
- Crew: Directed, written by M. Night Shyamalan. Camera (color, HD), Maryse Alberti; editor, Luke Ciarrocchi; music supervisor, Susan Jacobs; production designer, Naaman Marshall; art director, Scott Anderson; set decorator, Christine Wick; costume designer, Amy Westcott; sound (Dolby Digital), David J. Schwartz; supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer, Skip Lievsay; visual effects supervisor, Ruben Rodas; visual effects, Dive VFX; stunt coordinator, Manny Siverio; casting, Douglas Aibel.
- With: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn, Celia Keenan-Bolger.
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2015, Mystery & thriller/Horror, 1h 34m
What to know
The Visit provides horror fans with a satisfying blend of thrills and laughs -- and also signals a welcome return to form for writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. Read critic reviews
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The visit videos, the visit photos.
Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) say goodbye to their mother as they board a train and head deep into Pennsylvania farm country to meet their maternal grandparents for the first time. Welcomed by Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie), all seems well until the siblings start to notice increasingly strange behavior from the seemingly charming couple. Once the children discover a shocking secret, they begin to wonder if they'll ever make it home.
Rating: PG-13 (Some Nudity|Brief Language|Terror|Thematic Material|Violence)
Genre: Mystery & thriller, Horror
Original Language: English
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Producer: M. Night Shyamalan , Jason Blum , Marc Bienstock
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Release Date (Theaters): Sep 11, 2015 wide
Release Date (Streaming): May 17, 2016
Box Office (Gross USA): $65.1M
Runtime: 1h 34m
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Production Co: Blinding Edge Pictures, Blumhouse
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
Cast & Crew
Man on the Street
M. Night Shyamalan
Luke Franco Ciarrocchi
Scott G. Anderson
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Critic Reviews for The Visit
Audience reviews for the visit.
Super creepy. Nice twist at the end.
A disturbing and creepy premise. It'll keep you watching until the very end!
The Visit was a not Shyamalan's greatest work but it worked in its low budget way. The acting was horrendous and the plot was predictable, though the camerawork was at least steady to not make it so shaky.
Risible "return to form" (it's not), featuring two INCREDIBLY irritating performances/characters at the centre. The found footage/documentary style grates and is noticeable only for its complete lack of style, the attempts at comedy are woeful and there is no suspense or shocks. The "twist", supposedly hiding in plain sight, is exactly what one supposes it might be from the first 10 minutes.
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2015 Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
No one loves you like your grandparents.
The terrifying story of a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents' remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day.
Olivia DeJonge Ed Oxenbould Deanna Dunagan Peter McRobbie Kathryn Hahn Celia Keenan-Bolger Samuel Stricklen Patch Darragh Jorge Cordova Steve Annan Benjamin Kanes Ocean James Seamus Moroney Dave Jia Sajida De Leon John Buscemi Richard Barlow Shawn Gonzalez Shelby Lackman
M. Night Shyamalan
Assistant Directors Asst. Directors
Brian Moon Sebastian Mazzola
M. Night Shyamalan Jason Blum
Executive Producers Exec. Producers
Steven Schneider Ashwin Rajan
Camera Operator Camera Operator
Production Design Production Design
Art Direction Art Direction
Scott G. Anderson
Set Decoration Set Decoration
Special Effects Special Effects
Visual Effects Visual Effects
Jennifer Wessner Bob Lowery
Drew Leary Laurie Singer
Costume Design Costume Design
Blumhouse Productions Blinding Edge Pictures Universal Pictures dentsu
Releases by Date
10 sep 2015, 11 sep 2015, 17 sep 2015, 24 sep 2015, 25 sep 2015, 07 oct 2015, 08 oct 2015, 15 oct 2015, 22 oct 2015, 23 oct 2015, 19 nov 2015, 26 nov 2015, 11 dec 2015, 09 feb 2016, 16 aug 2022, 01 feb 2016, 23 feb 2016, 16 mar 2016, releases by country.
- Theatrical M
- Theatrical 14A
- Physical 15
- Theatrical 12
- Digital VOD
- Physical 12 DVD & Blu-Ray
- Digital 12 Netflix
- Theatrical 15A
- Theatrical 16
- Physical 16 DVD, Blu ray
- Theatrical M/16
- Theatrical 15
- Theatrical 15+
- Theatrical PG-13
94 mins More at IMDb TMDb Report this page
Review by sexualjumanji ★★★★½ 8
Just called my grandparents and told them to fuck off forever.
Review by 𝚮𝖆𝖗𝖑𝖊𝖖𝖚𝖎𝖓𝖆𝖉𝖊 ❤️🔥 ★★★ 34
>5 minutes in >the kid starts rapping >I add this to my films that made me happy I’m childless list >9 minutes in >it happens again >I google "how to make sure you don't get pregnant" >89 minutes in >IT RAPS ONCE MORE >I decide sex is never worth the risk
📝 Shyamalan: ranked
Review by maria ★★ 16
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
bold of m. night shyamalan to include a scene where a diaper full of shit is being shoved into someone's face to symbolize how much shit he's gonna be shoving into our faces for the next 94 minutes
Review by ˗ˏˋ suspirliam ˊˎ˗ ★★★ 1
WHAT IN THE TAYLOR SWIFT WAS THAT
Review by cait ★★★ 5
if m. night wanted me to sympathise with the kids why did he make one of them a freestyle rapper. how am i supposed to find any sympathy towards that. little freak deserved everything that happened
Review by SilentDawn ★★★★½ 16
The works of M. Night Shyamalan, no matter the quality, are each on a quest of searching mystery and eventual discovery. All of his films are bursting with uneasy traps and elusive secrets, and it is these traits in which Shyamalan's fame was built upon. To say he had a dry spell is a massive understatement, but as soon as The Visit flares up with its opening shot, a startling vision immediately makes its presence known.
I felt like I was home again.
The Visit , while advertised as a silly and creepy chiller, is more of an insane boiling pot of family turmoil and batshit antics. It's a bewildering mix of humor, horror, and heart-wrenching dramatic impact, and each…
Review by WraithApe ★★★ 23
Yo.. yo.. yo..
M. Night Shyamalan comin at ya with an alarmin yarn about Pop Pop and Nana livin the good life in homedown manor
Enter Becca and her litle bro far from a pro wannabe rapper T. Diamond Stylus Stubbin his toe with an 'Oh Mylie Cyrus!' droppin the mic with a 'HO'
Got a ringside seat M. Night finds footage thru documentary conceit Set-up's begun take it back to film school, 101 Establishing shot, set-up again zoom lens, cross cut, mise-en-scène
Goin meta with Becca but Nana's still gonna get her Makin night moves outside the door Sundown fright on a lower floor red eyes fed by satanic delight
Pop's runnin shit like dystentry Pilin up diapers like…
Review by Josh Lewis ★★★★ 4
"Old people sometimes have troubles with their body" "People leave. They find something better."
Doesn't quite have the scope of his early work but probably the most vital found footage filmmaking has felt in... ever? Shyamalan's visual grace & intelligence blends really well with the cheap, modern ageism Hansel & Gretal exploitation movie he's making here and he very effectively uses the immediacy inherent to the form to sneak real sudden thrills into some of his usual themes of familial breakdown/estrangement and masking/physically overcoming emotional trauma. There are a number of very creepily conceived shocks but weirdly enough the film is much more emotionally clear & cathartic than it is scary by the end. It totally works though so I have trouble seeing this as a bad thing.
Review by gab🦕 ★★★★ 5
you cannot convince me that this isn’t a comedy
Review by Gonzo ★★★½ 47
▶ 2015 Movie Rankings
▶ RANKED: M. Night Shyamalan
Is it better than Mad Max: Fury Road ? Even a (very welcome and long-awaited) Shyamalan resurgence can't top the chrome juggernaut.
Wait, wait, wait, hold up, hold up... Shyamalan made a good movie?! M. Night Shyamalan? What?! Yes, people, believe it. Your favorite punching bag is back with a vengeance. It's not as great as The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable , but it's a step in the right direction.
Is there a twist? It's Shyamalan. Of course, there's a twist.
Is the twist predictable? I saw it coming from the get-go. It's a pretty good twist though. It's the sort that doesn't ruin the fun even if you do guess it early…
Review by Neil Bahadur ★★★★½ 11
Unbelievable. Probably my 2nd favourite Shyamalan...one of the great films where everything you thought was right turns out to be wrong, and certainly the scariest film Shyamalan has made. There is explosive digital formalism, cameras seem to be attached to bodies and in moments of intense, quick movement the frame is obscured by flinging hair and occasional ruptures in the image of a human face; abstractions which could be only captured by the size of consumer grade cameras. In a way, it's inspiring because of that.
But much of this movie's terror comes from the opposite of Shyamalan's earlier tendencies, that we should believe in ghosts and demons ala Dreyer or Tourneur. Rather, people are terrifying, and even worse, family.…
Review by adambolt ★★½
I'm gonna act like this whenever my grandkids stay over just to fuck with them
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Produced by, released by, the visit (2015), directed by m. night shyamalan.
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The Visit streaming: where to watch online?
You can buy "The Visit" on AMC on Demand, DIRECTV, Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store as download or rent it on Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store, DIRECTV, Spectrum On Demand online.
A brother and sister are sent to their grandparents' remote Pennsylvania farm for a week, where they discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing.
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- Horror films
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The Visit is a 2015 American "found footage" style horror-fantasy written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan , and produced by Shyamalan, Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock, Steven Schneider, and Ashwin Rajan.
The film stars Kathryn Hahn, Ed Oxenbould, Peter McRobbie, and Benjamin Kanes. It was released vis Universal Pictures on September 11, 2015.
- 3.1 Trailers
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Philadelphia teens, 15-year-old Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her 13-year-old brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), prepare for a five-day visit with their maternal grandparents while their divorced mother, Loretta Jamison (Kathryn Hahn) goes on a cruise with her new boyfriend.
The two kids (who have never met their grandparents) intend to film a documentary about their visit. Loretta reveals that she has not spoken to her parents in fifteen years after having married her high-school teacher Corin, of whom her parents disapproved.
The father of Becca and Tyler, Corin left Loretta after ten years for another woman. Loretta tells Becca little about the disagreement she had with her parents that led to their estrangement, suggesting that Becca ask them for the details instead.
Becca and Tyler meet their grandparents (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie), who Becca refers to as "Nana" and "Pop Pop". At the isolated farmhouse, Becca and Tyler are instructed to never go into the basement because it contains toxic mold, and that bedtime is 9:30 p.m.
An hour past curfew, Becca ventures downstairs for something to eat and sees Nana projectile vomiting, frightening her. She tells Pop Pop, who dismisses it as Nana having the stomach flu. He reminds her not to leave the room after 9:30.
Over the next few days, Becca and Tyler notice their grandparents exhibiting more strange, sometimes frightening behavior. Pop Pop keeps mentioning a white light he sees. When Becca asks Nana about what happened the day Loretta left home, Nana begins shaking and screaming. Pop Pop and Nana are later confronted by a woman who was helped by them in counseling; she goes into the backyard with them but is never seen leaving.
Tyler (concerned about the occurrences) decides to secretly film what happens downstairs at night. Nana discovers the hidden camera, retrieves a large knife and unsuccessfully tries to break into the children's locked bedroom.
When Becca and Tyler view the camera footage of Nana with the knife, they contact their mother via Skype, begging her to come get them. When shown images of Pop Pop and Nana, Loretta panics upon the realization that they are not her parents.
Becca and Tyler attempt to leave the house and end up seeing the woman from earlier hung from a nearby tree. The impostors then trap them and force them to play Yahtzee. Becca sneaks to the basement, where she finds the corpses of the real Pop Pop and Nana, along with uniforms from the mental hospital they worked at, indicating the impostors are escaped patients.
Pop Pop grabs Becca and imprisons her in his bedroom with Nana, who tries to eat her. Becca fatally stabs Nana with a glass shard from a broken mirror, then tries to save Tyler. The Pop Pop imposter reveals to Tyler that the plan was to have a wonderful week "as a family" before dying so that they could reach the white light together.
After Becca's attempts to hold back Pop Pop, Tyler tackles Pop Pop to the floor and repeatedly slams the refrigerator door on his head, killing him. The two escape outside where they are met by their incoming mother and police officers.
In the aftermath, Becca asks Loretta about what happened the day she left home. Loretta states that she had a fight with her parents in which she hit her mother. After that, she left home and ignored their attempts to contact her. Loretta concludes that reconciliation was always possible had she wanted it. She tells Becca not to hold on to anger over her father's abandonment.
- Olivia DeJonge as Becca
- Ed Oxenbould as Tyler
- Kathryn Hahn as Loretta Jamison
- Deanna Dunagan as "Nana"\Maria Bella Jamison
- Peter McRobbie as "Pop Pop"\Frederick Spencer Jamison
- Benjamin Kanes as Corin
- Celia Keenan-Bolger as Stacey
- Jon Douglas Rainey, Brian Gildea, Shawn Gonzalez, and Richard Barlow as police
- Erica Lynne Marszalek and Shawn Gonzalez as passengers on a train
- Michael Mariano as a hairy-chested contestant
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References [ ]
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Geek Culture | Movies, TV, Comic Books & Video Games
Movie Review – The Visit (2015)
September 13, 2015 by Robert Kojder
The Visit , 2015.
Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Starring Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie and Kathryn Hahn.
A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.
The Visit is an odd movie. Billed as a horror film (at least IMDB labels it under that genre), the movie is surprisingly more of a dark comedy, but it would be disingenuous to say that there isn’t some terror beneath the surface. If M. Night Shyamalan’s intentions were to create a straight up horror film, then he failed miserably, but fortunately for the down-on-his-luck director (his recent movies have been pure garbage) it’s clear that there is a heavy amount of old people parody permeating what are supposed to be unnerving moments.
There is a scene early on in the film where the children and grandfather are out and about the city, where the paranoid old basket case is, for no reason, convinced that the stranger across the street is stalking him. So what does grandpa do? Well, he goes up to him and knocks the crap out of him. It’s moments like these that are downright hilarious, intended or not, but also come with an underlying sense of terror about the mindset of the elderly. It strikes a perfect balance between satire and realism.
Make no mistake about it though, The Visit is hardly a believable story. Shyamalan is back with another twist, and quite frankly, I felt incredibly stupid upon its reveal. Many moments that confuse you with either fright or laughter finally make sense as you kick yourself in the face for not having come to this conclusion 15 minutes into the movie. The problem with the twist though, as entertaining as it is, is that it requires a gargantuan sized suspension of disbelief to even remotely accept that what has happened, could actually occur. You sort of have to ask yourself whether you want to have fun and go along with the craziness or nitpick the movie from being outlandishly stupid.
As exhilarating as those final 20 minutes are however, much of The Visit never really hits that same level of excitement. There is a certain ambiguity to the grandparents and their strange behavior, but a lot of it falls flat simply because there is no character definition. However, to the movie’s credit, it is like that simply because the twist would not work otherwise. The performances from both of the grandparents are always a pleasure to watch though, often portraying quiet and reserved personalities to cranking things up to over-the-top crazy levels on a dime. It’s an interesting dichotomy that elevates both performances.
The children however, can be rather grating on the nerves. The roughly 13-year-old boy is naturally the immature one, but also has an odd fascination with freestyle rapping. Some of these scenes (except for the end credits) are absolutely cringe-worthy and painful to witness. Meanwhile, the slightly older girl is all-knowing with a superior attitude which comes across annoying. The performances don’t really complement each other that well, but thankfully their nuisances drift away once they become more serious about uncovering what is actually going on with their grandparents.
There is also an extremely out-of-place subplot regarding the children’s mother not having talked to the grandparents in over a decade because she wanted nothing to do with them after running away in high school to marry a teacher she fell in love with, that ended up leaving her anyway for a Starbucks employee. The Visit is already fairly succeeding at juggling comedy and horror in synchronization, so this small dramatic theme regarding forgiveness is jarring in the grand scheme of the narrative, and to put it bluntly, just doesn’t belong. The ending scene feels like the ending to a movie of a completely different genre.
Still, The Visit should be considered a winning comeback for Shyamalan; the twist is dumb fun and audiences are going to have a blast being simultaneously frightened while laughing at the lunacy of it all. It can’t touch some of the auteur’s more revered works, but it is definitely closer in line to what viewers expect and want from a Shyamalan flick.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook
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With unprecedented access to the United Nations’ Office for Outer Space Affairs and space agencies, The Visit explores humans’ first encounter with alien intelligent life and thereby humanity itself.
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The Visit (2015)
Synopsis: the terrifying story of a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents' remote pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day., connect with us.
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The Visit tells the story of a woman returning to her hometown after forty-five years to exact revenge on the man that betrayed her—or, as she puts it, to “buy justice.”
The play opens on a gaggle of unemployed townsmen who sit at a railway station in the fictional Swiss town of Güllen, awaiting the arrival of the famed billionairess Claire Zachanassian . They bemoan the deterioration of their home; Güllen was once a renowned cultural capital but has since fallen into a deep and devastating economic depression. Its impoverished citizens nevertheless hold out hope for their township—hope that Ms. Zachanassian, who was born and raised in Güllen, might endow the town’s restoration. Alfred Ill , Güllen’s “most popular man” and mayor-to-be, is leading a campaign to secure Claire’s donation; he was once her lover, and he expects that he should be able to leverage his relationship to her to get to her millions.
Claire arrives in Güllen several hours earlier than expected, throwing the townspeople into nervous disarray. While she and her entourage get off of the train, the Gülleners scramble to pull together the formal welcome they planned for her, frantically convening the choir and changing into their frock coats and top hats. Ill is the first to welcome the billionairess, bringing the two face-to-face for the first time in forty-five years. Ill showers Claire with compliments, hoping to loosen her purse strings with appeals to her vanity, but this fails. Claire bluntly states that she and Ill are old and fat now, and she proceeds to show him her many prosthetic limbs. She also takes a moment to introduce her Butler, Boby ; her henchmen, Roby and Toby ; her seventh husband, Moby ; and the blind eunuchs Koby and Loby . She explains that she gave her attendants rhyming names to suit her own preferences. Claire’s strange retinue, her disarming directness, and her outlandish luggage—which includes a caged panther and a coffin, among other things—unnerves some Gülleners, particularly the Teacher . Nevertheless, all are hopeful about her visit.
While her luggage is moved to her accommodations at the Golden Apostle Inn, Claire revisits her old trysting haunts with Ill. The two reminisce about their young love affair, which ended when Ill left Claire for the then-wealthier Matilda Blumhard , owner of Güllen’s general store. Claire fell into prostitution after Ill abandoned her, and thus met the wealthy john that became her first husband (the oil magnate Zachassian).
Following their walk in the woods, Claire and Ill return to the Golden Apostle, where a banquet is being held in Claire’s honor. The Mayor makes a speech lionizing the billionairess in an obvious grab for money. Claire is unmoved by the insincere speech, but she nevertheless pledges one billion dollars to the town. She has only one condition: that someone kill Alfred Ill. This, of course, catches Ill off guard—until this point, he thought that he had the billionairess eating out the palm of his hand. Furious, he dismisses Claire, but her Butler steps forward to explain. Forty-five years ago, before he was in Claire’s service, the Butler was Güllen’s Chief Justice and he heard a paternity case that a young Claire had brought against Ill. Ill falsely denied that he was the father of Claire’s child, and he bribed two witnesses to corroborate his claim, thus losing Claire the trial and causing her exile from Güllen and her lapse into prostitution. The perjuring witnesses were none other than Koby and Loby, whom Claire tracked down years later and had blinded and castrated. Her campaign of revenge continues now in Güllen with Ill as her target: she only wants “justice,” she says, and now she can afford it. Claire’s murderous proposal takes the Gülleners aback. Citing the town’s commitment to a rich humanistic tradition that values human life over capital, the Mayor emphatically rejects Claire’s offer on behalf of his constituents. Claire simply replies that she will wait for them to change their minds.
In the days following the dramatic banquet, Ill sees Claire’s henchmen regularly changing the wreaths on the empty coffin Claire brought with her to Güllen, presumably for Ill. He also sees an increase in business at the general store he manages; his customers have started buying previously unattainable luxury items on credit. When Ill notices his customers all wearing the same new and expensive yellow shoes , he begins to suspect his neighbors of considering Claire’s proposal—of buying goods in advance of her billion dollar donation (a prerequisite for which is Ill’s death).
A paranoid Ill visits Güllen’s authorities one by one—the Policeman, the Mayor, the Priest—seeking protection, but he finds that they too have begun to live above their means. Though the Gülleners insist that they will not consider Claire’s offer, their increase in spending indicates that they do anticipate Claire’s donation (and, by extension, Ill’s death). Understanding this, Ill attempts to flee town on the train, but he is intimidated into staying by the mob of townspeople that crowd around him at the station. Meanwhile, Claire observes the town from her balcony at the Golden Apostle as a mob of Gülleners hunt down her escaped black panther .
At the start of the play’s final act, Claire has just married her eighth husband, but is already preparing for divorce. In the midst of managing her marital business, she is visited by the Doctor and Teacher. They inform her that the townspeople have drawn up exorbitant debts, and that the town needs her help more than ever, but that no one is willing to kill Ill. They propose an alternative to Claire’s offer, suggesting that Claire invest in Güllen’s industry, which would not only reintroduce paying jobs in town, but would also produce returns for Claire. Much to their consternation, Claire reveals that she already owns the town’s industry. She intentionally ran it into the ground to cause Güllen’s financial collapse and lay the groundwork for her revenge on Ill.
Meanwhile at the general store, Ill’s wife’s customers have taken to openly denigrating Ill and sympathizing with Claire, marking a major shift in public opinion since the Gülleners defended Ill and rejected the billionairess’ offer. When journalists enter the shop asking questions about Claire and Ill’s relationship, the townspeople offer platitudes about young love and nostalgia, but keep mum on the issue of Claire’s ultimatum. The Teacher, drunk and full of guilt, almost breaks the silence, but is kept in check by his fellow citizens until the journalists leave.
After days of keeping to himself above his shop, Ill suddenly reappears. He seeks out the Teacher who, still drunk, admits that the town cannot resist the temptation of Claire’s money. When the Mayor stops by the shop to advertise a public meeting about Claire’s offer, Ill promises to defer to the town’s verdict. The Mayor indirectly advises Ill to kill himself (and save someone else the trouble), but Ill refuses, demanding that the people of Güllen take responsibility for their choices and kill him themselves.
Faced with what seems to be an inevitable early death, Ill spends his last few hours driving with his family and reconciling with Claire in the woods. Claire admits that she never stopped loving Ill, but that years of bitter resentment turned her love into something evil. When Ill is dead, Claire says, she will finally possess him as she’d always wanted to. The couple parts, and Ill heads to his “trial.” The public meeting is well attended by the townspeople and by journalists reporting on Claire’s visit. The Mayor, who moderates the meeting, takes pains not to alert the press to Claire’s deadly ultimatum; he leads Güllen in a vote “to make justice a reality.” The townspeople unanimously vote to accept Claire’s money, and thus sentence Ill to death without saying so. They murder Ill while the journalists are at dinner and inform the press that Ill died from joy when Claire’s endowment was accepted. Later, Claire collects the body and delivers a check to the Mayor. As she leaves Güllen with her former lover’s body, the citizens of Güllen revel in their newfound prosperity.
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