The Surprise Visit – Not Enough Suspense
Director: Nick Lyon
Writer: Stephen Meier (Screenplay) Nathan Cowles, Serah Henesey (Story)
Starring: Eric Roberts, Serah Henesey, Rob Riordan, Johnny Santiago, Jacqu Vene, Tricia Hawn
Plot: A robbery goes wrong, leaving two young drug addicts to make a difficult decision: to give up, or to do the unthinkable.
Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Surprise Visit starts when drug addicts Casey (Riordan) and Annabelle (Vene) learn they are expecting a baby, with Casey turning to his father Hugh (Roberts) for help, searching for a chance of a job working for his boss Mrs Dixon (Hawn).
Casey decides to talk Annabelle into breaking into the house while Mrs Dixon is away, only he is unaware that her daughter Juliette (Henesey) and husband Daniel (Santiago) have made a surprise visit.
Thoughts on The Surprise Visit
Characters & Performances – Casey is the drug addict man who learns he is about to become a father, he needs drugs to function, despite trying to get his father to give him a new life. He is the one that comes up with the idea to rob his father’s boss in an attempt to get his girlfriend a new life. Casey is very difficult to support, where he will always push Annabelle into doing what he thinks is best, no matter what. Annabelle is the pregnant girlfriend of Casey’s, she wants to get off the drugs for their child, constantly pushing but being left disappointed by Casey, who controls her every decision in life. She is always insulted by him, never given the space to think for herself. Juliette and Daniel are the couple who are visiting the home, that find themselves coming under attack from the intruders, needing to think of a way out, trying to show the pair the error of their ways. This isn’t a film that is going to get the praise for the performances, as nobody seems to feel like they are committed to the roles involved, with more about screaming at each other being the main part of the film.
Story – The Surprise Visit follows a couple of drug addicts that break into a home in an attempt to get rich quick, only not everything goes to plan, as the home isn’t as empty as they first thought. This story will seem to focus more on the chase, rather than getting any suspense in what is unfolding. It is has the toxic relationship between Casey and Annabelle not getting addressed on the firmer level, which is difficult to watch, as we can all see how badly Casey is treating her. The story will feel flatter by the end, with an unsatisfying ending, which does feel like we could have wrapped things up a lot quicker.
Themes – The Surprise Visit is a thriller that doesn’t seem to hit the tension or suspense it wants to, as most of the film is just the characters running around the woods, which the isolated location does create. The location is key to everything we see, with the luxury home being the reason why the thieves target the home.
Final Thoughts – The Surprise Visit is a tensionless thriller, never building up the suspense it could.