Director M. Night Shyamalan had help from a Lehigh Valley resident when it came to slipping the stars of his new thriller The Visit into their character's respective skins.
Tara Matlock, of Bethlehem, served as the assistant hair stylist on the film, doing hair for most of the main cast, she said Wednesday during a phone interview. The Visit was filmed in winter 2014 in Philadelphia, Miami and Chester Springs, Chester County. Matlock said she was on set for the Philadelphia and Chester Springs shoots.
"This (working with Shyamalan) was a goal I set for myself shortly after I started working in the film industry," Matlock said. "It was a pretty big step for me to reach."
The Visit centers on two children who visit and stay with their grandparents while their mother is away, only to slowly realize there is something eerily amiss with dear old grandma and grandpa. Shyamalan's return to the horror/suspense genre -- this time with a significant dose of comedy blended in -- has been receiving generally positive praise from critics, currently earning a 62 percent score on RottenTomatoes.com.
"I really enjoyed the whole film," Matlock said. "I've loved M. Night's work from the very beginning, from when he started."
Matlock previously worked on the indie horror film The Fields, which starred Cloris Leachman and Tara Reid and was filmed in Kunkletown and Bartonsville, Monroe County, as well as Bushkill Park in Forks Township. She praised Shyamalan and his crew. "I was standing next to him pretty much every day on set," Matlock said. "He was definitely one of the kindest people I've ever worked with. He has this spirit about him that made you felt like you've known him your whole life ... He was always there to listen and be there for you, no matter for what."
The Visit is playing in theaters nationwide.