The Visitation (2006)
I’m a fan of the Christian/religious based thriller/horror genre, without doubt. When it works it’s slick and interesting (The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby, The Gathering), when it misses it can be bland or mostly verging on the ridiculous (I thought The Exorcist sucked monkey balls personally, and more recently The Reaping was glossy but without substance). Now I’m not religious (In the Christian sense of the word anyway), but the Bible is a good read – trippy, gory, with some whacked out and sometimes offensive views on a lot of things, but a good read. Revelations the movie for instance – would be awesome.
Far too open to interpretation in my opinion though, I like my books with a less open ended approach to things, but that’s just me. – but my point … see I did have one .. Is that the film makers of the world haven’t begun to scratch the surface of the biblical based horror genre – and it’s disappointing ( for me at least).
The Visitation is based on the book of the same name by Frank Peretti, which I recommend if you happen to like this film and vice versa.
The Visitation in my humble opinion worked. I wasn’t actually looking forward to watching it, I was tired and it was playing to pass the time and nothing more, but within minutes I had woken up and was watching it with interest.
The plot is based in the small town of Antioch where miracles have begun to happen – visions of Jesus, religious statues weeping, folk speaking in tongues, cripples being healed and it all comes down to a coincidentally messiah looking farm boy (played by Eddie Furlong of Terminator fame), who seems to be the source of all of these inexplicable happenings.
Naturally people start to worship him, but let’s just say that this kid is not the messiah – he’s just a very , very naughty boy (Did you really think I could write a review about someone claiming to be the second coming without using a Monty Python quote? I’m disappointed in your lack of faith in me children.)
I loved this film from start to finish – it’s subtle, well researched and edited in a very Asian horror kind of way (lot’s of heavy imagery laden flash backs). The special effects aren’t amazing, but then again the introduction of CGI in horror was never a big hit with me – in my opinion good scare tactics rely on the unseen rather than the seen (unless it‘s gore and I want it to be seen – a lot). Luckily though, The Visitation doesn’t use much of the ole computer generated imagery to keep us entertained and it’s a shame that this one slipped under the radar, but in this cinematic jungle of boob shots, swearing, jaded ,oh so post modern teens, and torture porn, a film with none of these things just doesn’t cut the mustard for most people who want to be spoon fed throwaway crap by the bucket load.
So in conclusion – it aint gory, there’s no sex or heavy violence, but this is a good thing.