Old (2021)

Old (2021)

2021 PG-13 108 Minutes

Thriller | Mystery

A family on a tropical holiday discovers that the secluded beach where they are staying is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day.

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • d_riptide


    4 / 10
    So, M. Night Shambles-on is back. After the mixed reception of Glass closing off Unbreakable and Split with a whisper and a whimper, he has his next project: OLD. I went into this one blind as a bat, given Shyamalan’s unlucky track record with his previous films; his films are an unlucky coin toss between being solid or full-on dumpster fires.

    What we have here though is another emotional roller coaster that frequently struggles to avoid veering off into the realm of ridiculousness.

    I can comfortably say the acting is decent; they try their best to make use of the script they have and carry it on as their own but I’d say what they were given with wasn’t enough. For starters, the dialogue Shyamalan used here has to be some of the worst he’s ever written; dubious, very stifled and hard to stomach for the first 2/3’s of the runtime.

    And two, they don’t do their respective characters any justice. Repeatedly jumping from emotion to emotion is a strenuous task for any actor to achieve and not only could barely any of these actors nail those beats successfully every single time but it effectively killed my interest for any of these guys.

    I could honestly care less about the production design since not much was really done with the beach to further sell the drama but the sound design was a step above that.

    The concept being used here is far from farfetched. Getting old is a horrifying reality to face and consider but it happens so slowly that we don't realize how often we take age and time for granted. Speed it up drastically and you can understand the horror some of us have to deal with. Not to mention he does, at the very least, try to offer an interesting take on relationships with others when time is involved and what your grievances with others really mean in the end and by how much. Both the cinematography and editing do an admittedly stellar job at conveying that passing of time and the deteriorating mental acuity that comes with it.

    In my opinion, I honestly don’t think Shyamalan could’ve done a better job with the end result given what he had to work with except the thing with Shyamalan is he can never leave at JUST that…..and in the process of doing so, shot his own premise in the foot.

    His directing doesn’t modulate the performances well throughout the film, resulting in the clunky dialogue, aloof delusion of tension and detached characters. And the lack of variety towards the landscape only further leaves this dollop of stink as a stain off of my proverbial shoe.

    Worst thing about this to me was the bloody pacing. Because this concept involves people rapidly aging at a rate of 1 year every 30 minutes, I should’ve expected the pace of the film to probably be, unavoidably, fast paced. However, where the film fails is that the characters not only age "physically" fast but also "emotionally" fast. We’re barely given even remote time to savor each ‘year’ that occurs due to the standard length film time constraints so it comes off more like a soap opera than a horror thriller.

    An unintentional hilarious one at that; a good chunk of the supposed disturbing scenes come off as mildly hysterical.

    And then of course, there’s the trademark Shyamalan twist. I was at a legit loss for words regarding the how and why this came to be despite not being quite as ridiculous as The Happening. It doesn’t fit as much regarding the atmosphere of the movie and the very existence of it within itself is a puzzling brain-fart.

    Here, we have yet another instance where Shyamalan loses himself in his own concept that he forgot to make a proper movie. It sucks because I feel like he has good ideas and interesting concepts. I know I’ve been harsh on him in the past but that’s because I generally WANT HIM TO DO BETTER but rarely does his craft support the writing he has in execution. I can respect him for always taking risks and never limiting himself but ideas unfortunately don’t matter if the execution can’t support it.