EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to The Visit, a low-budget film that M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed in covert fashion, in partnership with Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum. The studio has set the film for release September 11, 2015. I’d heard rumors here and there that Shyamalan might have a project he was shooting underground, one that was closer to the spirit of his first few films than the big studio efforts that followed. This is that film. He wanted to get back to his roots and make a film outside the studio system, and he self-financed and shot this in and around his home in Pennsylvania. He then partnered with Blumhouse, which has a first-look deal at Universal and specializes in low-budget genre fare like Ouija, its latest effort that topped the weekend box office two straight weeks.
The Visit focuses on a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day. Shyamalan produced alongside Blumhouse’s Blum and Marc Bienstock. Steven Schneider & Ashwin Rajan are the exec producers. WME reps Shyamalan, who most recently worked with Universal when he produced 2010’s Devil. He last directed After Earth and The Last Airbender. Shyamalan exec produces and directed the pilot for Wayward Pines, the Twin Peaks-esque Fox series for 2015 that stars Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Terrence Howard and Toby Jones.