I managed to see this in theaters when it came out last year. Like everyone else, I was very skeptical. Mr. Shyamalan hit a very rough patch over the last few years, and to preserve everyone’s sanity we’re just going to pretend The Last Airbender didn’t happen at all. The question was would he be able to find his way back to his own brand of suspense then grand reveal. I thought he managed to do just that when I first saw this. We have cute and quirky kids, creepy old people, and the sense of isolation. It also had a few good comedic one liners. I was impressed. I didn’t get to review this before my unexpected hiatus, so I decided to go back and relive some fond memories. Hindsight really is a bitch and a half.
It is still funny and creepy…but I did not realize how questionable the whole premise is. Let’s start from the beginning: woman leaves parents to marry man they don’t approve of, and they don’t talk for 15 years. The parents “randomly” decide to Google their own daughter to basically see if she’s still alive. Upon reconnecting with their daughter, they want to meet their grandchildren…before reconciling with their daughter. Now, let’s pause here. I’m not a parent, and based on all of the horror movies I’ve seen I can confidently say my womb is going to stay vacant indefinitely. But…I personally might think it’s odd that my own parents want to bypass reuniting with me, and just want to meet my kids. Am I the only one that thinks that’s weird? To make it even better, I agree to this…and send my kids to go stay with complete strangers for a week will I get my groove back with my new boyfriend on a Bahama cruise. I’m not saying this is a bad mother, but we’re 10 minutes into the movie and my suspension of disbelief is almost already on empty. We still have the kids and grandparents to talk about, so let’s keep going.
The kids…are so screwed up that I can’t poke fun of them. Both have severe abandonment issues due to their father leaving and ignoring their existence. Why are they not in therapy? Why is the mother’s concern to replace their father, and how can she blatantly ignore their cries for mental help? We’re supposed to ignore all of that because…creepy old people and a 12 year old that thinks he’s the next Slim Shady, I guess.
It’s not really their grandparents. After about 45 minutes of Pop Pop and Nana shitting themselves, attacking random people in the street, and running around the house butt naked, we kind of already know that. They’re escaped mental patients, and just like that we have the biggest damn question in the whole movie: How the hell do not one, but TWO elderly, escaped mental patients murder their counselors and go completely undetected? One woman from the facility they were hospitalized in sees what they’ve done, and managed to be dumb enough not to run and call the cops. How? Just…how? This gets 2/5. I cannot stand movies where everyone manages to ignore common sense and intuition. Yes, this is creepy at times and even mildly funny, but it’s not strong enough to ignore the fact that it makes no damn sense. You do realize that none of this would have happened if the mother had, oh I don’t know…shown the kids a picture of their grandparents to ensure they didn’t go to the wrong people? Then I remember who made this movie, and I realize that pointing plot holes in his movies are a full-time job that I do not have the patience for. If you want to see cute, emotionally damaged kids up against certifiably insane old people, boy is this the movie for you. Want something intelligent where the characters have common sense? Look anywhere but here.