Like Jessabelle, Visions was another film that Blumhouse chose not to release theatrically and sent directly to dvd. This may have had something with the utterly generic and nondescript name it was given is there any more banal a title you can think of for a film about clairvoyance than Visions? Equally the clairvoyance film, of which we have seen dozens over the last few years see the likes of the likes of Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), Hideaway (1995), (1999), In Dreams (1999), The Gift (2000) and In/Sight (2011), among numerous others feels as though its limited moves have been played out. The one film you are reminded of is Dont Look Now (1973) with its premise of a series of cryptic visual clues presaging a murder. Or perhaps even more so, Lucio Fulcis Dont Look Now ripoff The Psychic (1977), which had a fairly similar premise to Visions.
Visions emerges as a routinely average film. Even the set-up yuppies who have enough capital to buy their own vineyard as a get-away-from-it-all hobby seems a whole other socio-economic strata from the one where most horror consumers live. Kevin Greutert delivers one or two passable to okay jumps, nothing distinctively standout. What strikes one though is how completely average everything is from the shocks to the plotting twists, not to mention the tried and true theme about everyone around her thinking the wifes seeing manifestations of the supernatural are her going crazy.
The frustrating thing about Visions at least when it comes to the revelation of what is happening [PLOT SPOILERS] is realising that the film has been blatantly misleading us in a number of directions. It tries to suggest various things happening that the wine growers in the region have some diabolic intent toward Isla Fishers pregnancy a la Rosemarys Baby (1968), that husband Anson Mount is secretly part of some devil worship cult, that there are hauntings that were experienced by the previous owners, that the Mexican farm workers are conducting rituals in the shed but all of these eventually prove to be contrived red herrings. The film does reach a twist ending that seems far more improbably contrived than any of the supernatural explanations. When the only real revelation about what has been happening all along is that Isla Fisher was having visions of an event about to occur, this settles in with a maddening banality.
One of the pluses of the film is a strong cast list including Isla Fisher, an aging Joanna Cassidy, John de Lancie, best known for his work as the trickster god Q on the modern Star Trek series, an underused Eva Longoria, and the greatest surprise of seeing Jim Parsons alias Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory (2007 ) in a non-comedic role as Isla Fishers doctor.
Jason Blum and his Blumhouse production company have produced a number of other genre films including:- Hamlet (2000), Paranormal Activity (2007) and sequels, Insidious (2010) and sequels, Tooth Fairy (2010), The Bay (2012), The Lords of Salem (2012), The River (tv series, 2012), Sinister (2012) and sequel, Dark Skies (2013), Oculus (2013), The Purge (2013) and sequels, the tv mini-series Ascension (2014), Creep (2014), Jessabelle (2014), Mercy (2014), Mockingbird (2014), Not Safe for Work (2014), Ouija (2014) and sequel, 13 Sins (2014), The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014), Unfriended/Cybernatural (2014), Area 51 (2015), The Boy Next Door (2015), Curve (2015), The Gallows (2015), The Gift (2015), Jem and the Holograms (2015), The Lazarus Effect (2015), Martyrs (2015), The Visit (2015), The Darkness (2016), Hush (2016), Incarnate (2016), The Veil (2016), Viral (2016), Amityville: The Awakening (2017), Get Out (2017), Happy Death Day (2017), The Keeping Hours (2017), Split (2017) and Stephanie (2017).