A bit heavy-handed and at times even silly, Old falls in the “not great, not terrible” category. So, 3.6 on the 5-scale or an even 6 on the 10-scale. This, of course, means it’s worth watching, if for nothing else than for the concepts it explores. This is something that M. Night, the director of this mess, talked about at length. Yes, in case you didn’t know, this is the latest Shmamalayan movie and luckily we didn’t get another The Happening. However, it doesn’t even come close to some of his earlier work. The dialogue and characters feel one-dimensional and at times just too inept. The same goes for the story. Now, come to think of it, this is a pretty bad movie. I feel if they spent just a couple of more months developing the shit out of it, it would’ve been a masterpiece.
In Old, we’ll be following a family stranded on a remote beach where strange things start happening. I don’t want to reveal too much here, although I doubt anyone can go into this movie not knowing about its basic premise. They focused so much on it that the entire middle of the movie feels clumsy and forced. We all deal with our mortality and aging in different ways and this is M. Night’s way of working through some of those issues. Which is something I liked about this movie. These things are something we rarely talk about and we should really do it more often.
After getting a really good deal on their family vacation, The Cappas finally arrive at their destination. The exotic resort looks stunning and after settling in they had for the beach along with another family. Once there, they will start noticing that something isn’t quite right…
The cast of Old was alright, although I have to say that the two leads were a bit wobblier than the rest. However, filming at the height of the pandemic and working with this bumbling script, I’m willing to look past a lot of it. Rufus Sewell was usually good and it was nice to see Alex Wolff from Hereditary in something newer. There are so many concepts and events thrown at us here that something is bound to stick. When you add to this pretty fast pacing and exotic setting, the movie actually becomes an intriguing distraction. What can I say, I’m a sucker for these types of places, especially since the events of the last two years took hold of the world. And in case you were wondering, these beautiful landscapes and beaches are located in Dominican Republic.
When I started watching Old, I immediately thought of phenomenal television series The White Lotus. Also taking place in a beautiful and exotic resort, following lives of its very diverse guests and management. I highly recommend you check it out, as it quickly became one of my favorite shows. And I just loved Murray Bartlett as the resort manager. You will be pleased to know that the show has been renewed for its second season featuring an entirely new batch of guests. Finally, I don’t know why but the general vibe of this movie reminded me of Jordan Peele’s Us. So, you might wanna check it out if you liked this one.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writers: M. Night Shyamalan, Pierre-Oscar Lévy, Frederik Peeters
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre
Fun Facts: Before production, M. Night Shyamalan screened two films for his cast and crew, which were said to be big influences on the style and tone that he wanted for Old. The movies in question are Walkabout (1971) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).