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.
To find where to stream any movie or series based on your country, use This Is Barry’s Where To Watch. 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.
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Where To Watch?
To find where to stream any movie or series based on your country, use This Is Barry’s Where To Watch.
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.