This summer, visionary filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan unveils a chilling, mysterious new thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly – reducing their entire lives into a single day.Written by Universal Pictures
Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) was a standout sensation during the early days of his career. Once you learned that his name was attached to an upcoming project, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume it was going to be a hit. Then after a while, seeing his name attached to a project turned it into a curse. Every time you saw him pop up, audiences would now want to run the other way in fear. Years later it seemed like he came back to his senses providing a few projects that actually showcased his talent as a director without all the ego. With all of that, every film that Shyamalan has been a part of has always delivered a scary thought-provoking plot, that pulls you in with so much intrigue. The only issue is, is whether or not there’s a worthy payoff in the end, and the majority of the time there isn’t.
With the cast put together in Shyamalan’s latest film Old the performances are done well enough to get you to sympathize with the characters, but not much more than that. No one wants to see innocent people suffer whether you like their personality or not. The acting is acceptable in some instances, and a little over-exaggerated in others, but is still good enough to warrant a coherent film. No one person shines over the other which is a benefit given that the story has so many unknown plot details to reveal.
The cinematography was a great aspect as well with beautiful shots showing an island beachside in nearly every frame. If Shyamalan’s goal was to help you escape to another place in his film while watching, he succeeded with flying colors.
There’s a mystery at hand that needs to be solved immediately, and with a film lasting around 108 minutes, all the juicy details start to erupt only after the first twenty minutes or so. You’re already getting to know the characters. So seeing them develop even more dealing with a tragedy is even more compelling to draw you into the story. It’s a scary fun mystery trying to figure out what’s going on, and why everyone is aging so rapidly. The fear of the unknown is frightening knowing that this group of people are in a race against time and fighting for their lives. What’s great is that the characters come together as a group trying to solve the problem. I found myself thinking in their shoes wanting to execute the same plans to escape to freedom which makes me attach myself even more to their dilemma.
For a plot that seems so outlandish, Shyamalan’s able to ground it into a reality that feels true, gritty, and real. Fortunately, the ending turns out to be believable too, and I wouldn’t have ever guessed who was the so-called figure behind the curtain pulling all of the strings if any one figure at all. There are countless hints throughout the film looking back, but it’s impossible to predict the final outcome. That’s one of the aspects that makes this film so entertaining. Taking a scenario that seems impossible to say the least, but creating a story around it that makes all the sense in the world and is believable in the real world that we in society live in today.
Of course it’s best to go into this film not knowing much at all other than the trailer, but if you give it a chance there’s a high chance you’ll walk away thinking of this entry as a winner for Shyamalan instead of a dud that leaves you frustrated and wanting more.