Michael Ironside has an intensity and sadistic streak that makes him a perfect fit in the role as a crazed serial killer and one look at him is more scary than any stupid masked loser in a mask. The direction is clearly inspired by John Carpenter's "Halloween" and director Lord gets much atmosphere out of a non-existent story. Good slasher, even if William Shatner is underused and show up only for some pep talk.
There's enough about Visiting Hours for it to be an higher level than most slasher films. Its surprisingly feminist leanings make for a slightly unusual plot dynamic and having Michael Ironside's psychopath so visible right from the start, and even quite deeply characterised, makes it pleasingly disarming. It plods in places and it's about 20 minutes too long but Ironside's typical excellence will see you through.
The quintessential feminist slasher film; the only one that truly strikes back at the misogynist tropes of the genre. It's doubly interesting that the villain should be given such a fascinating portrayal by Michael Ironside who's never been more interesting despite not having more than 20 lines of dialogue. The movie wants him to have one dimension, but Ironside's performance is too good for that. Thrilling.