Guest Blogger Melissa O'Donnell: THE VISIT

Saturday, September 12, 2015


By Melissa O'Donnell

I was granted the privilege of attending an early screening of M. Night Shyamalan's THE VISIT, at United Artists Theater in King of Prussia, PA through Tinsel and Tine. I jumped at the opportunity as both an avid film fan and Philadelphia based actor. I love seeing what Shyamalan releases because I know what he is capable of as a writer and filmmaker, but almost more so, I love what he does for the film industry in the state of Pennsylvania. He constantly brings his work to his home state, employing local cast and crew, as he did with The Visit.

When I first began acting I was fortunate enough to work on several of his projects as a background actor and never, on any set since, have I ever seen someone treat and take care of their nonunion background actors so well. It's truly magnificent. Everyone loves to debate his films. I have enjoyed most of them to different capacities; but one thing from my perspective, that is not debatable, is his wonderful ethic as a filmmaker. But that's not really what this write-up is about...

I went in to "The Visit" with no expectations. I feel it's the best and most untainted way to experience a film. I am so very glad I was able to do that this time, as Shyamalan manages to encompasses EVERY GENRE in this movie. Every one. And I think he does it brilliantly! Had I gone in to this expecting a straight horror, or thriller, I may have been disappointed. Somehow he mixes, horror, thriller, fairy tale, romantic comedy, dark comedy, family film, sci-fi, first person docu-style, mystery, drama, and even a little bit of action by some great local stunt actors. There was incredible humor mixed with dread, and I don't usually get startled by jump scares, but there were a few great ones in this that really got me!

The audience reaction to the jokes, the jump scares, the dread, and especially the scene in the end credits, were fantastic to experience. So fantastic, I hoped Shyamalan was hidden in the room to experience this. I am told they filmed 2 endings to The Visit and I wonder which will be released on Friday, September 11th, 2015 and if the other version will shock audiences more? I am very interested in seeing what happens. Whatever is chosen, both provide the great twist everyone has come to expect from M. Night Shyamalan. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity for an early screening of #THEVISIT for multiple reasons: Not only did I enjoy the film which is now one of my favorites from Shyamalan, but I also love supporting local films in Pennsylvania.

LeAnne Lindsay, Editor of Tinsel & Tine is also an incredible supporter of local film and food in PA, and is such a lovely lady. I am honored to write a guest post for her. Thanks so much LeAnne !!!

Awww thank you Melissa!  I met Melissa O'Donnell the first year I covered The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, as she's a co-producer of the festival, which celebrated its 8th season this past April. However, she's first and foremost a talented, aspiring actress on the rise, having worked with many Philly directors, as well as some work on the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black!  Be sure to check out Melissa's reel below:

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Melissa O'Donnell-Acting Reel (Full) from Melissa O'Donnell on Vimeo.

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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