31 Days of Reviews: Visions (2016)

After moving into a vineyard farmhouse, a pregnant woman starts experiencing visions that she can’t explain. Are these visions supernatural or symptoms of PTSD from an accident the year before?

On the surface, Visions looks like it has a lot going for it. The movie stars Isla Fisher and Anson Mount with cameos from Eva Longoria, Jim Parsons, Gillian Jacobs, and Joanna Cassidy. It’s directed by Kevin Greutert, known for his work in the Saw franchise. In theory, it sounds like it’s going to be a pretty solid paranormal horror movie.

In reality, Visions feels more like a made-for-tv movie, a drama that you might find on Lifetime. The cinematography is awkward. The editing is atrocious for this type of film. Shots are rushed together, and it really does nothing for the pacing. When you mix the cinematography with the editing work, it makes Visions seem really mediocre. It’s a shame because, if done well, Visions could have been really good.

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The movie starts out with an interesting title sequence. It’s good, but gets boring after a bit, and I feel like this accurately describes Visions as a whole. The title sequence is immediately followed by a stressful look at the accident that Eveleigh (Isla Fisher) was a part of, one year before the events of the movie. It’s revealed at this point that Eveleigh was involved in a crash that took the life of a baby. She feels huge amounts of guilt over this, resulting in depression and PTSD.

Flash forward one year later, and Eveleigh and her husband have moved into a vineyard farmhouse. Eveleigh is expecting a baby, and they have a pretty good life going for them. Eveleigh has decided to stop taking her medications because of her pregnancy, and begins to experience visions that bring mixed reactions from those around her. Her husband and friends think she should go back on her medications, thinking these visions might be a result of her illnesses. A fellow pregnant woman from her yoga class tells her not to go back on her medications because of the baby and agrees that these visions may be supernatural in nature.

This leads the story forward. What is causing the visions? The house has no history of murders, but past residents have experienced similar visions. What’s up with that? It’s an interesting, yet average concept.

The problem is that the whole movie seems lackluster, boring even. Isla Fisher seems terrified, but nothing ever seems to really click together as the movie progresses. Chairs move. Wine bottles explode. Windows break. They go back to normal. It all feels very blah. It’s tied together with jump scares and dream sequences. It just could have been better.

Within the last 20 minutes, Visions delivers a decent twist and pulls off a nice, different take on the haunted house narrative. The ending is pretty great, if you can make it that far.  The first hour of Visions is just really… eh…

Despite the fact that Visions is produced by Blumhouse, I can’t really recommend it. The movie never received a wide release, and I think this was entirely justified. It’s quite unfortunate, but Visions is an average movie at best. There’s a lot of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve about it, but in the end, it is what it is.

Luckily, Visions is streaming on Netflix, if by some chance you have a night free where you want to check it out.

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