It has been a while since I wrote a film review. Most reviews I read online are so negative, it’s almost as if critics want movie goers to stay home so I took a break from writing them. I missed writing them, so I’ve decided to start doing them again but only in a positive way.
I start with Old, M. Night Shyamalan’s newest horror film that released in theaters this week. I have been looking forward to it for quite a while, and I can honestly say I enjoyed it.
Three families are left on a secluded beach while vacationing on a tropical island. Their resort left them with umbrellas, towels, and plenty of food for a day at the beach. Soon, though, the children, three in total, begin to grow quickly. A year for every half hour of time that passes.
The adults don’t seem to age, at least not a first. Once they start noticing the differences in their kids, the begin arguing and trying to escape. Any attempt at escaping causes the escapee to pass out and wake up back on the beach. Their minds begin to fray, and their relationships with each other become volatile.
In true Shyamalan form, the pace is slow at first and builds throughout the film to the twist you know is coming. It is Shyamalan after all. The twists never bothered me about his films, and it didn’t bother me in this one either. But I saw this one coming and wasn’t surprised by it. It’s an obvious twist if you were paying attention.
The dialogue is a bit clunky in places, and perhaps the acting a bit awkward, but I think it adds to the film. How does one react to being stranded on a beach where there is no escape and your entire life is happing in a matter of hours? An awkward circumstance to be sure. Each character has their own experience, from developing Alzheimer’s to losing eyesight and hearing to aging out of perfect beauty. With such a large cast, I was impressed that each person had their own horrifying moment.
Toward the end, there is one death involving broken bones in a cave that is going to stick with me forever. Truly gruesome, and kudos to Shyamalan for going there. I honestly wondered if he had that amount of horror in him. Any horror film that has a scene that sticks with me like that is pretty impressive.
If you liked the pacing of his other films, you might really like this as well. I did, but I’m a huge fan of The Village and Signs as well as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, so that isn’t a surprise. What I love about his films is that you either love them or hate them. They spark a conversation and that is never boring. Old certainly isn’t, and it deserves your attention for at least one viewing.