WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

PLUGGED IN RATING

Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

It's not that Becca and Tyler are really excited about taking a trip to see their estranged grandparents. After all, they've never even met them before. In fact, since their mom stormed out of her parents' lives when she was 19, she hasn't really seen or spoken to them either. But Nana and Pop Pops have repeatedly reached out in hopes of meeting the kids. And from Becca's perspective, this trip, this newly forged connection could be a perfect opportunity.

Namely, that it will allow Becca to procure the "elixir" her mom so desperately needs.

To most people that kind of talk probably sounds overly dramatic. But that's the kind of introspective, bright and thoughtful teen Becca is. She's determined to record their whole trip as a sort of cinéma vérité that will serve the dual purpose of school project and, well, mythical quest.

You see, ever since her father found "something better" and walked out on them all a few years back, everything in their family has been on a downward spiral. Her young brother is oddly germophobic. Becca has become sort of adverse to looking in the mirror. Worse, Mom can't seem to break out of a pattern of self-defeating choices.

If, in the course of this interview-based documentary video, Becca can help her grandparents and her mom see just how much they miss each other, just how much they need each other, why, Becca's pretty sure that could set everything on the right path again. It would be the magical healing elixir that her family needs.

That shouldn't be too hard to make happen, should it? I mean, that's what families are supposed to do. No matter how harshly Mom has spoken of her parents in the past, they can't be that bad! Surely they can forgive and forget.

They're not monsters, after all.

Right?

Advertisement

Positive Elements

Becca's efforts to get the forgiveness elixir for her mom is both selfless and lovingly thoughtful. And at one point Mom even admits that forgiveness and reparation with her parents have always been within her reach. She recognizes, finally, that it was pride that made her refuse to grasp onto them. She encourages her daughter to never make that same mistake. "Please don't hold on to anger, Becca" she tells the girl.

Both Becca and Tyler fight to protect each other.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

We see that Mom and her newest boyfriend are enjoying a week away together at a beach retreat getaway. During a Skype session, Mom dances around in a bikini top. Nana accidentally displays her bare backside and, on another occasion, is seen fully nude from the rear. Tyler poses in a video clip with his shirt off, reportedly offering a little "candy for the ladies." He raps about puberty and his appeal to "skanks" and "hos" at his school. Women ogle shirtless men who are showing off in a contest.

Violent Content

Pop Pops explains that Nana suffers from a specific dementia (called "sundowning") that only takes hold of her at night. We see her running around the house slamming and scraping at the walls. As the condition worsens, she pounds herself in the head, swings a knife threateningly and smashes Becca face-first into a mirror (which shatters). The kids catch Pop Pops with a shotgun barrel in his mouth.

One woman is hanged. Another is stabbed repeatedly with a large shard of glass. We see a hammer covered in caked blood and hair, and two decaying corpses. Both kids are battered and pummeled—thrown to the ground, bloodied with blows and dragged by the hair. A man is tackled, kicked and has his head slammed repeatedly into a refrigerator door (just out of the frame).

Crude or Profane Language

One f-word and two s-words join one or two uses each of "h---," "a--" and "b--ch." God's name is combined once with "d--n." Tyler flips his middle finger at his sister. He decides he wants to use female pop star names instead of swear words, turning artists such as Shakira and Katy Perry into joke-focused cusses.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Nana smokes a cigarette. Tyler mimes smoking a joint.

Other Negative Elements

Vomit and excrement are used for the dual purposes of humor and horror, with someone getting a face full of the latter.

Conclusion

What is it that teeters and totters a dramatic movie over into the realm of horror? Some filmmakers believe that push demands twisted depictions of horrid gruesomeness. Others opt for shocking creepy-crawlies that leap from the shadows and skitter across the ceiling.

Here, famed suspense director M. Night Shyamalan suggests that horror only requires a youthful point of view and a pair of grandparents showing the weaknesses of old age—frailties that include such things as the spits and spats of dementia and the embarrassing bodily rebellion of incontinence. And that quirky concept, quite frankly, is what gives The Visit its initial sense of humor and freshness in this genre.

(Though freshness is perhaps the wrong descriptor when we're talking about soiled adult diapers, isn't it?)

The Visit ends with some solidly wise advice. And it's certainly more palatable than your average bloodcurdling, R-rated gush-in-the-nighter. But like all horror pics, the things that disquiet us most must be amplified before they reach mall multiplexes. Which means odd nocturnal movements become frantic and crazed. Awkward dribbles become spews. Before you know it, the zest of an original perspective explodes against the screen in predictably wincing and foul and violent ways.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!