Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Film Review: Visions (2015)

Visions (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a very boring and hollow film."

After a fatal car accident, Eveleigh (Isla Fisher) and her husband, David (Anson Mount), move to a vineyard in hopes of creating a new life. However, as the pair settle in, Eveleigh begins to experience strange visions...

Visions begins with a fatal accident – Eveleigh is involved in a car crash involving a baby. One year later, David and a pregnant Eveleigh move to a vineyard. During a party, Helena (Joanna Cassidy), a locally famous wine steward, has a bizarre incident in the home. The couple try to shrug it off, but Eveleigh soon begins to suffer from bizarre hallucinations. David tries to put her back on antidepressants, but she vehemently refuses. She meets a fellow pregnant friend, Sadie (Gillian Jacobs), and... basically tries to cope with her visions. That's really all that happens throughout the film. A vision, discussion about going crazy and medication, another vision, another discussion, repeat. It eventually reaches its conclusion. Most of the ending is, unfortunately, predictable. It's a bit different from the typical supernatural horror film, but most of it can be seen from far. It's not bad, especially since it finally picks up the pace, but it did feel poorly-executed. I mean, the film has this dramatic pause when it reveals its revelation, but I barely felt anything since it was figured out beforehand.

To be blunt, Visions is a very boring and hollow film. It really felt like a short film stretched out to meet a "feature-length" runtime. Even at a measly 80-minutes, the film felt too long for its own good. This is due to the bad pacing, repetitive storytelling, been-there-done-that plot, and dull scares. Speaking of horror, this film is not very scary. In fact, most of the film relies on loud noise jump-scares – none of which are creative. There are some interesting visuals here and there, but nothing to keep the film frightening or afloat. The film is further hindered by the incredibly generic characters and lack of depth. Aside from being pregnant, you barely get to know Eveleigh, which makes the film even less effective. Also, the dialogue was occasionally on the cringy-side. "They don't believe me because I'm pregnant." (What?) Aside from a few interesting scenes and visuals, there wasn't really much I liked about this film.

The acting was generally okay, though. Isla Fisher and Anson Mount perform well enough. Fisher is serviceable, but she doesn't really feel right for this role. I never really felt like she was actually frightened. Jim Parsons, who plays Dr. Mathison, is good, though. The acting becomes a bit overdone towards the end, but it's never really atrocious. The film is shot well and the music is okay. On the technical side, everything is about average – not incredible, not bad. The film is directed by Kevin Greutert and written by L. D. Goffigan and Lucas Sussman. The story and direction aren't necessarily terrible, but the film as a whole seemed more fitted for a shorter format. Most of the film feels like a void of nothingness — a vacuum sucking up its own fun before it even occurs. It can be interesting, but, most of the time, it's simply boring.

Overall, Visions is a boring film. As I've said numerous times, it's a short film stretched out to a feature-length runtime. With that, you get a lot of empty space and filler - i.e. boredom. There are some interesting visuals and plot points, but most of the film is forgettable. The fact that the film is essentially devoid of any real horror doesn't help. If you love jump-scares, you might like this a bit more than me. Even then, the generic characters might hold you back, too. For Blumhouse horror, I just reviewed The Veil, which is a bit better than this. Otherwise, I still recommend Creep, Insidious, and Sinister over this.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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