Going into Old I'd sort of prepared two judgements: it was either going to be really good or really terrible. Anyone who is familiar with the back catalogue of M. Night Shyamalan will know this feeling all too well. Joyful viewings of Split or The Sixth Sense will always be tainted with the memory of Ed Oxenbould rapping in The Visit. Yet, while watching Old, I was met with a conundrum. It wasn't bad. In fact, it was rather good. However, that isn't to say it was brilliant. It seemed that it was a bit of both. An enigma in the Shyamalan back catalogue!
Old follows a group of holidayers on a secret beach, which the hotel owner has tipped them off too. Quickly, they begin to realise that the beach is having a strange effect on them. Leaving isn't an option due to mysterious bouts of unconsciousness, so it is up to the bunch of tourists to figure their way out of the horrific sandy cove.
Old has a magnificent atmosphere. What happens to the family, which I will try and avoid to mention, is truly horrific yet fascinating. Some moments even have a sense of happiness. This smoothie of feelings is bended excellently, allowing for moments of horror to really get the audience engaged. Yet, clumsy dialogue and some weak character development pull the audience right back into the Odeon Screen 6. A particularly horrifying scene where a lady has a disturbing fit has Ken Leung shouting 'I'm Jarid, I'm a nurse' twice over the flailing lady. it's an awkward line that made me confused. There are many lines in the film which take you out of the action for a second and have you doubting the authenticity of the characters.
Luckily the concept and tone are strong enough to pull you back in, time and again. You may not leave Old feeling thrilled or exuberant; you may not find your fingers hovering over your phone ready to recommend this to your friends. But you will come out remembering the film. It's definitely worth watching.