I’m back, as promised… though, I have to say, this one made me second-guess my decision to return. This movie may fall into my bottom ten (if I were to make a bottom ten, that is… maybe I should). It’s by no means the worst film I’ve watched while working on this blog… but it’s something about how boring it is, how stupid it assumes its viewers are, and a weird political stance the movie takes that make me hate it so much. More on all this shortly.
Visions centers around a pregnant woman who, with her husband, buys a vineyard that may, or may not, be haunted… you know a story we can all relate with… these two are truly represent the “everyman”. There’s more to the movie (though, really not that much), but I really don’t want to waste my time summarizing it. All I’ll say is that the beginning of the film starts with a car accident our protagonist causes (though, they make it clear (several times throughout the movie) that it is not her fault) in which the other motorist’s child is killed… gee, I wonder if that’s going to come back into play. To be fair, this movie makes a point of connecting all the dots… almost in extremely frustrating ways. That last sentence was meant to be a complement… really the only complement I can pay this movie… but, I couldn’t even get through one sentence without a critique. Everything about this movie is wrong… so, let’s get into it.
Let’s start at the most logical beginning point, the title of the film. Okay, this may be a bit of a spoiler, but seriously, it’s the filmmakers’ fault (writers L.D. Goffigan and Lucas Sussman and director Kevin Greutert (he previously directed one of the Saw films, which explains the splashy-ness of the film… it looks very nice (hey, there was a compliment) almost too nice (oops, never mind)) or maybe the studio’s. If you title your film Visions and then try to build your picture around the mystery of whether or not the house the couple bought is haunted, you’re kind of showing your hand. This also connects to other points in the film which contradicts the resolution of the film… include the very last scene of the movie. So, that’s frustrating. The cast is also weirdly frustrating. Apart from the lead actress (Isla Fisher) the cast is mostly made up of television cast offs: Anson Mount (from the excellent Hell on Wheels), Gillian Jacobs (from the hit or miss Community), Jim Parsons (from the unwatchable (in my opinion, but it’s a huge hit, so what do I know) Big Bang Theory) and Eva Longoria (from the unwatched (by me) Desperate Housewives (right?)). Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against television actors… and this group is pretty strong, it’s just that in this case, there was no reason to have these people in these roles except to trick people into watching this bland movie. They show up in a scene or two, deliver their lines and collects their paychecks. They are all completely wasted. The last major problem I had with this movie is that at times it appears to be taking an anti-medication stance towards mental illness. We establish early in the film that the protagonist is suffering from PTSD due to her car accident and that in the past she was on anti-depressants. I don’t want to get into a thing here, but this anti-medication stance keeps coming up in the film. Apart from my beliefs and personal experience surrounding depression and medication I have two problems with this. First, a b-horror movie is not the place to take this stand. Second, it was clearly written by someone uneducated about mental illness and medication. I’m not saying this because I disagree with the stance the filmmakers seem to be taking. Instead it is due to the cliché and frankly ignorant writing surrounding the issue. This whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and caused me to be a bit judgmental of everyone (including the actors) involved in the movie.
Instead of leaving you with that argumentative ending, I’ll provide you with a few random observations:
- They were clearly going for a Hitchcockian vibe with the music, but it just ended up sounding like free-to-use music.
- Why would you put the creepiest mannequin ever made in your movie and then not even use it for a scare?
- This movie is basically the same scene repeated about twenty times: Our protagonist seems something vaguely spooky (there are no good scares here (not even any real jump scares)) while her husband is in the other room, yelling “David” over and over again until he comes in the room and sees nothing.
- “That’s right, it was me!” Great writing…
Hopefully, I’ll be luckier tomorrow.