Review The Old Science Thriller is M. Night Shyamalan’s best film in almost 20 years

M. Night Shyamalan’s Old is functional b-class summer entertainment.

Premiere: 21.07.2021.
Original name: Old
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Screenplay: M. Night Shyamalan, based on the sandcastle comic by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters
Pääosissa: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Emun Elliott, Thomasin McKenzie
Length: 108 minutes
Age limit: K16

Director-screenwriter M. Night Shyamalanin it’s been almost twenty years since the last really good movie. The Village appeared in 2004, after which Shyamalan has provided mainly The Last Airbenderin and After Earthin like soap. The year 2016 Split was a slightly better work, which, however, spread into the hands no later than the second viewing.

Premiered today, Wednesday, July 21st Old-Science horror is also no masterpiece, but at least on the level of modern-day Shyamalan, quite an entertaining summer gimmick.

Old is both inconsolably gloomy and funny. It’s partly unintentional laughter, but Shyamalan has made his work a clear twinkle in the corner of his eye. Nowadays, the director can also laugh at his own manners.

Old movie

For the Shyamalan movie, Old is very straightforward, whose whole supporting idea is already clear from the trailer, and its final solution is not very surprising.

Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Prisca Capan (Vicky Krieps) marriage is in crisis. Before making big decisions, they want to spend a relaxing beach vacation with their two children in the tropics. Located on an unnamed island of paradise, the hotel manager arranges family access to a secluded and picturesque beach in a nature reserve.

Soon after arriving at the scene, Capat and a handful of other hotel guests on site will face a mystical surprise. It’s impossible to leave the beach and something gets stuck there to age at a tremendous pace – in a few days an entire human life. The sand contains rusty hotel belongings and objects from previous guests. Someone or something is also watching prisoners of supernatural power from nearby hills and mountains.

Old movie

Most of the Old is bickering, madness, and one of the more stubborn plot twists as the characters age and die one after the other. At 108 minutes, the film is a little too long, but there is no time to get bored with it.

Basically, the last thing you need from a movie like this that mixes sci-fi, thriller and horror is realism. However, it presents several ideas that are so despicable that you can only laugh at them. While Old manages to take it with him, a few scenes are such a total group that the magic of the film wears off. You can see nothing but shaking your head with a smile.

Shyamalan often stumbles upon his films with allegories. Old also pretends to have something deeper to say about a pandemic, for example, but metaphor is completely a side issue in silly entertainment. Nor does the film serve as a dissertation on the behavior of a crowd of people in an impossible situation. Despite the grotesque imagery, it is by no means scary or distressing, even if the concept is inventive.

Original work, i.e. Sandcastlecomic was much more atmospheric than the film. The film is still visually insightful. The sound design in particular deserves praise, as at least when seen in a movie theater, the surround sounds of the film forcibly took it to the beat.

The end of the film is unexpected and its last 15 minutes are largely completely unnecessary to explain everything that could have been thrown down the hill without any worries.

Old is a high-concept sci-fi, but also a skillfully made honest b-class entertainment. Judging by the criteria of a real film, it is nothing more than a tekele worth at most a few stars. As a flickering summer movie, you will enjoy it perfectly.


Rating: 2.5 / 5

“Old doesn’t contain as violently twisted surprise twists as several other Shyamalan films, but it can only be recommended unreservedly to the director’s fans.”

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