Helmed by director M. Night Shyamalan, ‘The Visit’ is a thrilling found-footage film that follows siblings Becca and Tyler as they visit their grandparents, and notice their increasingly disturbing behavior. After arriving at their grandparents’ quaint countryside home, Becca and Tyler are delighted to be able to spend time with them after so long. A day of delightful catching up later, Pop Pop puts the two to sleep and strongly suggests that they not leave their room after nine-thirty. Later that night the children hear loud bangs and scratchings. Soon the elders’ strange behaviour leaks over to the daytime, making the siblings concerned for their safety, but failing to convince their mother to pick them up.
The 2015 film’s tension builds steadily as the siblings uncover dark family secrets and struggle to survive in a house filled with eerie mysteries. ‘The Visit’ delivers a compelling blend of psychological horror and thrilling situations, using its simple backdrop and premise to create terrifying circumstances. The chilling story is contrasted heavily by its seemingly mundane backdrop, which is later revealed to hide disturbing realities within its layers. Thus the atmospheric tension built throughout the tale may spark curiosity in some regarding its real-world filming sites.
The Visit Filming Locations
‘The Visit’ was filmed mainly in Philadelphia, Chester Springs, and Royersford, Pennsylvania, with a few scenes shot in Miami, Florida. Principal photography began on February 19, 2014, under the tentative title, ‘Sundowning,’ and was wrapped up in about a month by March 21 of the same year. In an interview, writer-director Shyamalan marveled at finding the ideal actors to bring his story to life, saying, “This might be my perfect constellation of actors, it’s as if these people were the people that I wrote.” Let’s examine the sites seen throughout the film and their real-life counterparts.
Situated along the banks of the Delaware River, the city of Philadelphia has a brief appearance in ‘The Visit,’ primarily at the beginning and end of the film. When the siblings are dropped off at the train station by their mother, the site is actually the 30th Street Station at 3001 Market Street. Officially known as William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, the prominent intermodal transit station is defined by its grand classical entrance held up with Roman pillars.
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Filming for the grandparents’ house and its exterior scenes was carried out on 3049 Merlin Road, in the unincorporated community of Chester Springs in Chester County. The community lies west of Philadelphia, and its serene snow-covered landscape can be spotted early in ‘The Visit’ as the siblings travel to their grandparents’ house.
Nestled along the Schuylkill River, the borough of Royersford stood in for much of the town seen in the film as the characters left the house. Shooting for these scenes was done on 330 Main Street, its small-town charm imbuing the narrative with a pleasant departure from the claustrophobic situations at the elders’ house. Further filming was done on location at 705 Washington Street, which is a quintessential suburban neighborhood.
— Matt Stehman 🇺🇸🇺🇦🌻 (@MattStehman) February 20, 2014
When the grandfather takes the siblings out to a school, shooting for the sequence was done at the 5/6 Grade Center on 833 South Lewis Road. After their visit, whilst returning, they begin to play a game of pointing out at buildings and guessing their stories. The children point to a large, red-bricked complex lined with white windows. The grandfather ominously reveals the structure to be the Maple Shade Psychiatric Hospital, where he had supposedly volunteered at an earlier point in time. The structure is actually the Royersford Spring Company on 98 Main Street which manufactures automotive parts and springs.
For a couple of scenes on a cruise ship, the film crew ventured onboard the Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas for a few days in Miami. The city’s bustling seaport, PortMiami, stands as the Cruise Capital of the World, welcoming millions of passengers annually to embark on voyages to exotic destinations. The cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, was used as a set for ‘The Visit.’ A casting call for extras announced the need for upscale cruise wear and skills related to activities carried out on the ship, such as wakeboarding and rock wall climbing.
— Royal Caribbean Public Relations (@RoyalCaribPR) April 7, 2014
Read More: Is The Visit Based on a True Story?