Visions (2016)

Directed by Kevin Greutert

Written by LD Goffigan and Lucas Sussman

Starring Isla Fisher, Anson Mount, Gillian Jacobs, Eva Longoria and Jim Parsons

Here’s an under-the-radar film with some solid pedigree backing it. Director Kevin Greutert helmed the (as of now) penultimate Saw film and it’s brought to us by prolific horror maestro, Jason Blum. It also holds some mainstream sway with well known stars (and one particular charismatic actor that might be known to Bronies -yes, Bronies -, John de Lancie). So far so good. The end result of this odd concoction of ingredients is a decent thriller, a film that picks up steam as it goes along and culminates in a neat little twist. Overall, it’s pretty average.

Visions is set up as your standard haunted house film. A young couple, expecting their first child, buys a vineyard. They hope to establish their own vintner legacy, a form of catharsis after expecting mom, Eveleigh was involved in a car accident resulting in the death of a baby in the other vehicle. Odd happenings, sounds and visions abound. Is it all a result of PTSD or are there troubled spirits afoot in the vineyard?

The game cast gives it a go. Isla Fisher is a solid actress and she’s a nice, bright presence to the film. Bigger name stars like Eva Longoria and Jim Parsons are in slight, featured roles but it’s of mainstream intrigue to see them in this sort of film (first Rings for Johnny Galecki, now this… up next, Kaley Cuoco in a new Paranormal Activity??). They mainly just have to react to things happening around them. The biggest downfall, however, is that said sinister happenings are not scary in the least. You’ve seen it all before and there’s absolutely nothing new here aside from the “psychological or supernatural” basis.

But then, the twist. OH the twist. Times like this I wish the comments section for this site were more active. I anticipate that the surprise at the end would be wholly polarizing. No spoilers here, just that it affects everything we had seen before and establishes it aside from the thriller/ghost subgenre into something completely different. Think home invasion/scifi. Yes, really. A very odd pairing to be sure, one that will please some palates while turning off others. It’s very Shymalanesque and begs for repeat viewings of the film. In short, the ending is violent and bizarre and is basically the entire catalyst for the preceding scant 75 minute feature presentation.

To put it in sommelier’s terms, Visions is like a red blend. Some will enjoy the combination of different flavors and subtle elements that blend together… while others would rather just stick to a tried and true cabernet. Being a teetotaler, I’m really not one to say for sure but I did find the film intriguing. Just a bit slow and familiar. If it sounds interesting, it’s streaming on netflix as of September 2017.

An intriguing blend that pairs well with some elements but at other points seems like it could use a bit more ripening.

2.5/5 My Little Pony villain winemakers

Splatter Factor: 1.5/5  – Nothing too gruesome at hand. The violent home invasion style finale is the main source of violence with gunshots, stabbings and a few nasty bits. Prior to that, it’s just a few blood smears. The blood doesn’t run here but it’s not entirely dry either. 

The Collective speaks:

What does the past, present and future hold? How does one go about resetting their life after a tragedy? Why is Sheldon Cooper an OBGYN? These are the questions we must all ask ourselves at one point or another in life. Our mass of collected souls does contain some seers that hold the answer to these questions, yet even they are conflicted to the ending of this film. It has divided our ranks and we must reassemble. Perhaps around a nice glass of Port Manteau blend… 

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