Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Runtime: 108 Minutes
Main Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Aaron Pierre
Plot: Two families on a relaxing tropical getaway take a trip to a secluded beach recommended to them by the management of the resort they’re staying at. Whilst on the beach they discover that something is making them age rapidly, and there’s no way to escape.
My Thoughts: Say what you want about M. Night Shyamalan, his movies get people talking and I would watch his movies any day over boring, generic movies. He’s most well known for The Sixth Sense (1999) and whilst most would say he hasn’t made anything great since, with the exception of Signs (2002) I still hugely enjoy his movies. I haven’t seen them all but there’s just something so great watching things like The Happening (2008) that fall into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. For me, Old doesn’t quite fit into that group, but it isn’t great either, so it falls somewhere in the middle. I’ll be spoiler free here, I promise, but I still recommend you watch it for yourself before reading reviews.
For a start, I think the trailer gives too much away, and unnecessarily, too. Although I appreciated the set-up and found myself trying to study every little detail for clues, it’s mostly just a wait until we see the beach for ourselves. From there, we get an introduction to each of the characters on the beach until one of the kids goes swimming and the first body is found in the water. That’s when the movie really begins. The pace picks up as more strange things happen, and then there’s the reveal. It’s less a shocking plot twist and more of a slow explanation, and although I was already on the right thinking path, it was still satisfying.
The biggest downfall is the dialogue, it’s just…very strange! You can tell that the actors themselves struggle with it and it leads to their acting coming across quite wooden at times. It’s easy to poke fun at the science which clearly doesn’t add up, but if you’re willing to accept a beach that makes people old and not the explanation as to why, then you need to remember why you love movies in the first place! It has it’s moments, but Old doesn’t get labelled a bad Shyamalan movie by me.
Best Bit: The kids walking along the resort beach (not the creepy one) and asking strangers their name and occupation made me laugh because that’s almost exactly what my own kid does. Find a stranger and ask them questions! But let’s face it, the actual best bit of the movie is when we learn why we should all make sure we get enough calcium each day. The screen I was in had a few nervous chuckles but that bit got a belly laugh out of everyone.
Worst Bit: It was in one of the trailers so not a spoiler but the pregnancy part was just a bit…ick. I get that it served a purpose in further explaining the aging thing but it got so ridiculously over dramatic so quickly.
Fun Trivia: M. Night Shyamalan said the subject matter of the film, in which a group of people find themselves trapped on an isolated beach, dealing with a deadly phenomenon, mirrored the experience of being in lock-down, and the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic, adding: “It was strange. We were making a film that had nothing to do with the pandemic, but at the same time it was absolutely about this fear and uncertainty we were all feeling. This fear of infection. It made us think very deeply about death, about survival, and about being in lock-down. This idea of being stuck in a situation and not being able to leave.”
My Rating: 3 out of 5 pocket knives that you should definitely take out of the hands of any crazy racist doctors you happen to be vacationing with.