It’s Only a Matter of Time

Old doesn’t age well. After completing his surprise Unbreakable trilogy, Old became M. Night Shyamalan’s first original thriller since The Visit. I say original, but it’s actually based on an obscure French graphic novel called Sandcastle. Shyamalan simply gave it a more literal title and a twist that’s expected at this point. Old seemed like it could either be a second return to form or another awkward mess. I’m happy to say he gets it somewhere down the middle. Old is a genuine so bad it’s good Shyamalan flick on par with The Happening. I saw it by myself and couldn’t contain my laughter. Right from the start we get Shyamalan’s signature awkward dialogue and clunky storytelling.

Character’s literally ask people their name and occupation. Guy and Prisca are a foreign couple vacationing with their children Maddox and Trent. Old isn’t remotely scary, but the concept of rapidly aging on a beach is. It’s a beautiful location that Shyamalan shoots in his usual “artsy” way. Shyamalan’s cameo more directly affects the plot. It involves the rest of the resort goers who end up on the mysterious beach. There’s Charles, his much younger wife Chrystal, their 6 year old daughter Kara, and grandmother. There’s also the interracial couple Patricia and Jarin. Along with a rapper who was there before they showed up.

Although it tries to have the horror of Jaws with a very naked skinny dipper and surprisingly bloody PG-13 moments, the rules don’t always add up. People age at different rates with the kids almost immediately aging into Alex Wolff and Thomasin McKenzie. Of course it is a little uncomfortable to think about kids suddenly going through puberty. Since time speeds up more than just their bodies. As the cast gets smaller, the entertainment value sorta drops. I definitely predicted some variation of the twist, but it gets old real fast. With several ups and downs, Old is a lot like the actual aging process in its execution.


Older Maddox and Trent on a beach

8 thoughts on “It’s Only a Matter of Time

  1. M. Night Shyamalan is one of those guys who’s incredibly talented, but too often takes the easy way out with much of his later films. I’ve even heard stories that people have sued him for stealing ideas from them, which shows how much his ‘short-cuts’ go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the review, I think I’m skipping it. Shyamalan has some good ideas, and directs well enough, but he can’t write dialogue. He probably needs a writing partner. Anyhow, I like the Unbreakable trilogy and Sixth Sense, but the rest is open to debate.

    Liked by 1 person

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