Nothing To See Here: “Visions” Is Eerie But Staggeringly Simplistic

Isla Fisher has Visions in Kevin Greutert’s workmanlike thriller which never manages to extricate itself from conventional mundanity. Martin Carr takes a closer look…

Isla Fisher has bills to pay. Another Australian soap star who has broken into mainstream film, her marriage to Sacha Baron Cohen has seen those cinematic contributions dwindle of late. However turns in Confessions of a Shopaholic, Wedding Crashers and Now You See Me are gone but not forgotten. But if Visions was considered her way back onto an A-list, then she needs to start taking advice from someone sober.

Staggeringly simplistic yet eerie, this film lays out a copybook backstory encompassing run down properties, eccentric locals and idyllic isolation as its central calling cards. Fisher and Mount do a good job of laying the groundwork for something which is never likely to surprise, yet pulls off believable late night schlock horror with economy. This felt at times like Rosemary’s Baby but minus the backbone necessary to really put the wind up you. Performances were uniformly adequate and the presence of both Eva Longoria and Jim Parsons baffling.

That aside Visions offers jump scares, off kilter hallucinations and one killer twist, which makes that remaining running time worth wading through. Joanna Cassidy's Helena is the requisite creepy expert, while Fisher does distressed damsel with the skill of a seasonal professional. Elsewhere Parsons is silted and wooden in an under-developed role, alongside Longoria who appeared to be killing time between pedicures rather than attempting to act. Whatever the collective reasoning for taking part in this venture, you can only hope that director Kevin Greutert had loftier ideals. Unfortunately what we have here is the cinematic equivalent of Ronseal wood preserver. It does exactly what it says on the tin.