*Will not spoil the twists
A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.
“Dad, why are you looking at me like that?”
The concept of aging scares all of us. It is human nature to wonder about getting old and dying, but it is a reality none of us really want to face. M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie Old takes that idea of aging and speeds up the process to a point where his characters seem to be aging a lifetime in a day. This of course comes in a long list of Shyamalan movies where something insane is happening to the characters but they cannot quite figure it out. He has made a living off these storylines and a surprise twist at the end, but sometimes that can be a detriment. Like the Golden State Warriors who rely on the 3 pointer every game, if that backfires the team backfires. Well, if M. Night’s twist doesn’t hit then his movies don’t work. And I think that is what happened here.
As always the concept struck me first and I was intrigued, because Interstellar kind of touched on this. The characters in that movie get stuck on a planet and every minute they are there is like 5 years or something. So to see a whole movie play with a concept of that was interesting. Like I said above though everything leading up to the twist though hinges on how it lands. And to come away feeling unsatisfied leaves a bit of a sour taste in your mouth. Because the movie had genuine tension, and some of the best camera work I have seen in awhile. But the explanation for how it all was happening was in my opinion not very interesting.
The parts I did find interesting was the things the characters dealt with during the aging process. Things like hearing and sight loss, or unexpected pregnancy and child birth, or even rapid tumor growth. All of those ideas were dealt with in cool and different ways and gave the actors things to react to. It is a shame that will go unremembered due to the poor ending.
Stock Neutral – Alex Wolff
This guy has been on the train to stardom since his role in the Jumanji movies and Hereditary. He also has directed his own movie already and seems to be taking roles that are letting him really test his boundaries. In this role he plays the teenage to young adult age of the son in the family. He does not get a ton to do unfortunately, but again you can tell he has all the makings of a star in the future.
Stock Up – Thomasin McKenzie
She broke out in a big way in the great Jojo Rabbit, and in my opinion steals the show in this story. Watching her try to play an 8 year old, but also maturing over a few minutes is fascinating. She has a huge movie coming out soon in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, so she is boarding the rocket ship.
Stock Down – M. Night Shyamalan
I hate to do it to the legend, but with Glass and now this he does not seem to be at the top of his game right now. He has made some stinkers for sure but always seems to comeback with a movie like Split. So hopefully he has a few more good ones for us left in the tank.
*A couple other tidbits
- Just a lot of bad parenting going on here to be honest.
- Why was the message not decoded sooner?
- This movie needed more of a villain.
- The camera work again was truly stunning with the way it manipulated you around the scenes.
Despite some outstanding technical work, Old does not quite get there for me. I think it is fine as a movie, but you just leave feeling a bit underwhelmed. And that is not good for any movie’s reputation.
*You can find my 2021 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find my M. Night Shyamalan Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.