Film Review: Visions

“I’m seeing things… and no one will believe me because I’m pregnant!”


Rating Film Review: VisionsFilm Review: VisionsFilm Review: VisionsFilm Review: Visions

Directed by Kevin Greutert. Starring Isla Fisher, Jim Parsons, Gillian Jacobs, Eva Longoria, Anson Mount, Joanna Cassidy, Bryce Johnson, Jeff Branson, Christine Corpuz. Written by Lucas Sussman, L.D. Goffigan.

The visions in Visions aren’t just seen by Isla Fisher’s Eveleigh, but also heard, felt, and suggested, showcased during lengthy takes where the character stares into the distance waiting for something to appear. The camera cuts back and force between Fisher’s furrowed brow and whatever she’s looking at, until something finally does appear. 

It’s a ghost, or so we presume, but the visions – and poltergeist-like attacks that send Eveleigh through a window at one point – stop when she starts taking her meds.

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Unfortunately, Eveleigh is also pregnant: in movie terms, this means she cannot take any type of medication, even after being assured by her doctor that its perfectly safe. So to protect her unborn child against potential chemical influence, she submits to paranormal attacks that drive her insane and violently throw her around her new vineyard estate.

This leads to an immortal line: “I’m seeing things… and no one will believe me because I’m pregnant!”

Eveleigh has moved into the vineyard with her husband David (Hell on Wheels’ Anson Mount), where the couple plan to start a winemaking business. It’s a year after she was involved in a fatal accident that left another family’s child dead, an event that to her being medicated for PTSD symptoms.

The wine business might not be going so well, however; when top wine critic Helena (Joanna Cassidy) stops by, she ends up performing some kind of voodoo ritual in the couple’s bedroom.

Helena, you see – this film’s version of the standard Zelda Rubinstein spiritualist – has sixth-sense ESP. Or something. That’s what makes her a good wine critic, she actually tells Eveleigh in a line of dialogue someone wrote down, others approved, and an award-winning actress utters here. “I can taste the grapes, the dirt…”

Visions trudges on in rigidly formulaic fashion for its first hour, livened up only by the awful dialogue and the cast’s inability to do anything with their characters. It doesn’t seem to make any kind of logical sense, and if you cared about any of these characters you’d be screaming at them to do the obvious rather than play amateur detective.

That cast, by the way, also includes Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons in a throwaway role as Eveleigh’s doctor (he has about three scenes, and maybe five lines of dialogue) and Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria in the same type of role as the lead character’s BFF. Meanwhile, Gillian Jacobs (Community) so overplays her part as Eveleigh’s newfound yoga friend that we know something is up from the first minute she’s onscreen.

Beware: horror films with a cast culled from comedy TV. Also beware: Hollywood movies with high-profile casts that don’t even warrant a theatrical release in the US. Visions, from horror studio Blumhouse (responsible for the Paranormal Activity franchise and 90% of the other horror films in cineplexes these days), hits Czech cinemas before attaining a US release date.

But lo, I must report having some giddy fun with Visions’ final ten minutes. During that time, director Kevin Greutert (Saw VI, Saw 7, and Jessabelle) allows the film to become completely unhinged, delivering not one but two twist endings that tie everything together in perfectly illogical fashion (but sorta, kinda make sense if you go with it).

Visions is dreadful for its first hour – and it’s a total dud as any kind or horror film – but some unintentional humor keeps it afloat and then it gets nutty and enjoyable for the ridiculous twist-laden climax. As far as bad movies go, this one is pretty entertaining.

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