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Visions (2015)

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Plot Summary:
"After moving to her vineyard to be with her husband, a pregnant woman begins to experience terrifying visions."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 17 October 2016 My Rating: out of 5


A year after surviving a car accident, Isla Fisher and her hubby Anson Mount are expecting a baby, and have just purchased a vineyard. However, things start to take a sinister turn when Fisher starts having disturbing visions. Her husband is dismissive, her doctor (played by Jim Parsons!) suggests she go back on her anti-depressants that she stopped when finding out she was pregnant. However, these seemingly supernatural visions keep haunting her, and Fisher becomes more and more freaked out. Gillian Jacobs plays another mother-to-be whom Fisher quickly befriends at yoga class, Eva Longoria is Fisher’s best friend, and Joanna Cassidy plays a local woman who is, let’s say, supernaturally sensitive.

A frankly bizarro cast full of mostly TV actors and a running time of less than 90 minutes are your first warnings that this 2015 domestic horror film from director Kevin Greutert is going to be subpar. Older than a haunted house and not remotely scary, this is pretty tired and tedious stuff. Scripted by Lucas Sussman (whose only other feature screenwriting credit is 2002’s “Below”, suspiciously enough), if you can’t work out who the villain is in this really early, I hope you enjoyed your first movie experience. Everyone else will work it out from the person in question’s first scene. Greutert (who edited the first five “Saw” films and directed “Saw VI”) seems to know this thing isn’t scary, so he has the soundtrack go bonkers from time to time just to wake you up. That’s cheap, real cheap and it doesn’t even work anyway. Trust me, I’m a wimp when it comes to loud sudden noises, and this film didn’t make me flinch even once.

Isla Fisher, although she started out on Australian TV drama, is a much better comedic actress than a dramatic one. She’s not very convincing here, I’m afraid. Better are Anson Mount as her husband, and especially Gillian Jacobs. Meanwhile, I hope Eva Longoria didn’t ask for too high a salary, given she’s hardly in it and does the bare minimum with her screen time. “Star Trek” alum John de Lancie is on screen even less, suggesting there must’ve been quite a bit left on the cutting room floor. As for TV’s Sheldon Cooper, Jim Parsons proves to be like Joshua Jackson, Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston before him, in that he’s quite frankly not versatile. That’s what happens when you get so good at playing one character on TV for a long time, it’s sometimes the only tool you’ve got in your arsenal. This is especially the case when it’s one of your first gigs, because you’re often putting something of yourself in the role, at that point in your development as a performer. I’m not saying he plays Fisher’s doctor exactly as Dr. Sheldon Cooper, but there’s clearly so much of Parsons in Sheldon’s mannerisms that seeing some of them repeated here it just shows you that the guy isn’t really a versatile actor.

Lousy, clichéd, and completely unfrightening, this one ticks all of the wrong boxes and none of the right ones. With an uninspired cast on top of all that, this one's really not worth your time unless you're seriously undemanding as a viewer. You've seen it before, you've seen it much, much better than this.

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