We’re doubling up this time, covering Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit (you’ll see why).
The Visit is The Sixth Sense director Shyamalan’s attempt to restore his reputation after a long string of failures, and this low-budget horror film about two kids staying over with their estranged, increasingly creepy grandparents is a modest success.
The performances are engaging, the film has some amusing self-aware humor about filmmaking technique, and maintains an intensely eerie atmosphere.
The main problem with The Visit is that Shyamalan doesn’t pace his clues properly, in that some of the most disturbing moments happen too early, and you’re likely to figure out the big twist (something Shyamalan once had a gift for) rather quickly.
But overall, quite a decent horror movie.
But Sicario is a far better horror film without even trying to be.
This taut, expertly-directed thriller follows Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an elite SWAT agent taking part in a crackdown on the Columbian drug cartel.
With its unrelentingly grim tone, stark violence and confronting depictions of the extreme corruption on both sides of the War on Drugs, Sicario feels like a horror movie grounded in very real conflicts.
On top of that, the characters are riveting and multifaceted, and Roger Deacon’s cinematography is stunning.
The Visit is a fairly scary diversion, but Sicario ranks among the year’s best thrillers and horrors.