Game of Thrones’ Finn Jones shines in one of his best performances with this supernatural thriller with a shocker of a major twist.
London-born Robert has decided to come to the United States with his wife Myra after her father’s death. Myra has inherited the family home in the small town of Briar Glen. Immediately upon their arrival, Robert is met with warmth and glee from the townsfolk as Myra’s family has a reputation in the town with her grandfather being one of the founders. Robert feels uneasy at first because of the massive welcoming party. However, that becomes the least of his problems.
One day while unpacking things, Robert makes a startling discovery. He finds a painting with a figure that resembles him. Questioning things, Robert is warned from everyone not to question things. When he asks a local art dealer about the paintings, she warns him to go back to London. However, she is murdered that night. Soon enough, the people who are concerned about Robert slowly begin to die but Robert soon learns the horrifying truth about the town and why this visitor is both welcome and to some, unwelcome.
This Blumhouse film is quite fascinating in its story, written by Simon Boyes and Adam Mason. The tension builds up quite right and will bring to mind a meshing of The Wicker Man and even a dash of Straw Dogs. There are minimal deaths but the deaths themselves make an impact as the victims seem to those who are concerned for our protagonist Robert, played by Finn Jones.
Jones has had his share of great roles, like Ser Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones, but after his miscasting as Danny Rand on Marvel’s Iron Fist, there was perhaps a time for Jones to really breakout and find his footing. This film is Jones’ best performance to date as he is excellent in the role of Robert, a British-born husband who comes to small town USA, a reversal of Straw Dogs where Dustin Hoffman’s American husband goes to his wife’s British hometown. Here, we have small town USA in the form of Briar Glen, which seems like a combination of modern and tradition.
Jones is greatly supported by Jessica McNamee’s Myra, Robert’s wife. Coming off her great role as Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat in 2021, McNamee is not just a background style character. We get to learn more about her and her family on this journey. We even get to see an emotional moment where Robert’s uneasiness leads Myra to blame herself for having a miscarriage in the film’s first act. However, Robert is a fish out of water and is trying to make the most of things until he discovers the paintings with his likeness and the final ten minutes of the movie, mixed in with specific nightmarish sequences, brings it all to a major jaw-dropping twist.
The Visitor is definitely a supernatural thriller that will leave you wanting to keep watching until the jaw-dropping twist and for those who wonder, this is definitely a tour de force performance for Finn Jones. This is perhaps the genre he should do more of as he pulls off a natural great role here.
WFG RATING: B+
Epix presents a Blumhouse production in association with Bradley Pilz Productions and Divide and Conquer. Director: Justin P. Lange. Producers: Paige Pemberton and Paul Uddo. Writers: Simon Boyes and Adam Mason. Cinematography: Federico Verardi. Editing: Andrew Wesman.
Cast: Finn Jones, Jessica McNamee, Dane Rhodes, Susan McPhail, Donna Biscoe, Thomas Francis Murphy.
The film is out on Demand and Digital today and will debut on Epix on December 2022.