In M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller, Old, a family travels to a secluded beach, where they begin to rapidly age.
Although I have mixed emotions about every M. Night Shyamalan movie ever since The Village, I heard a rumor on Twitter that Old was 2021’s Cats.
And folks, if you know me, you know what happened next — I begged my two best friends to go with me and promised we could get frozen cocktails beforehand.
And although Old is not as much of a mess as Cats, it isn’t exactly an enjoyable trip to the beach.
The concept itself is interesting, encouraging viewers to think about human mortality and the concept of time. Like, what would you do if you knew you were not going to make it to sunrise? Would you accept your fate calmly? Would you fight to change it? Would you own up to your truths. Or would you become a monster?
Old tries to intrigue its viewers, however, it ultimately falls flat, due to an uneven, dizzying direction and poor writing.
How poor, you may ask? Like, groans and giggling from the audience, level of poor.
But let’s face it, when you have a screenplay with a character named “Midsized Sedan”, random conversations surmounting to nothing and “on the nose” references to “time” and “aging” , you know you’re not getting a Pulitzer.
And the actors do what they can with what they’re given, especially Thomasin McKenzie and Alex Wolf. And as a side note, can we give Wolf a break from traumatizing family movies for a while? Maybe?
But nevertheless, they can’t help those shallow conversations, shameless foreshadowing, and awkward moments be any less than what they are.
For example, there is also a HELLA awkward sequence in which some of the kids have aged into teens and well, let’s just say they figure out how to make a baby. Let’s just say, our audience ROARED in laughter. It’s too much. It may have even aged me.
But to sum up my experience of Old, I’d like to quote my friend, Samantha, as we left; “what did we just watch?!”
More appropriately the other big takeaway from my friend, Myranda, (and SPOILER ALERT)….
“WHY DID THE DOG HAVE TO DIE!?”
Final Thoughts: Although Old may have set out to make us face our existential fears, its messy, off-putting storytelling may age you just a bit.