Old on HBO Max finds M. Night Shyamalan back to his old tricks. We love the love-him-or-hate-him filmmaker for The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and perhaps Signs, both marking the critical and popular bottoming-out of his career. With The Visit and nifty Unbreakable-tied thriller Split (followed by the unsatisfying Glass) and now he''s back to the self-contained thriller-with-a-twist via Old
OLD: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The Gist: The Cappa family is on vacation! Mom Priscia (Gael Garcia Bernal) discovered this luxury resort online, so she and her dad agreed to book a few days as one last hurrah before they divorce. Maddox (Alexa Swinton) is 11 and Trent (Nolan River) is six; he is nice to walk around the poolside lounge and ask all the adults what theyre saying and do, unlike all children, when asked to be plot devices in the
Priscia is a museum curator and Guy is an actuary, and as a result, they speak in the manner of museum curators and actuaries rather than actual human beings. Priscia also has a benign abdomen tumor that the children do not know about, and hey, guess what. If you suspect that the tumor is also a plot device, you may be on the verge of being on something.
The resort manager prepares a lovely day trip to a private beach for the Cappas, which he reserves for only a few selected people. Among them are: Charles (Rupert Sewell), his image-obsessed string-bikinid wife Chrystal (Abbey Lee), their six-year-old daughter Kara (Kylie Begley), and her little dog too. One nurse named Jarin (Ken Leung) and his psychologist wife Patricia, who also works with people
These are the sub-unidimensional characters who will follow the Shyamalans tradition, which begins picking up speed when a woman''s dead body joins their picnic. This is when everyone discovers that cell phone reception is nil, and any attempt to make their way up the beach causes them to feel ill and black out. Even more odd things happen, especially when people look away for a little while to realize that they are adults. And then everyone gets old really fast and dies! The end!
What Films Will It Remind You Of?: We mostly agree that The Happening was infuriatingly dumb, right? Okay, Old reminds me of The Happening.
I dunno. This appears to be the appropriate place to mention that Shyamalan attempts to make his cast look and sound stupid by asking them to recite his horrifying dialogue. Shed a tear for the normally wonderful Krieps and McKenzie, for example.
Patricia reviews the film for everyone who is horrified by the theme, but I don''t like it!
Sex and Skin: The hintquarters of a skinny-dipping woman.
First, I want to bring Shyamalans dialogue into the sun, then push the sun into a hole just to be sure. If you own a concept that talented, versatile actors like Bernal, Krieps, and McKenzie cant salvage, then thats a problem. One might argue that Shyamalan is specific to his films, but it either appears to be being stuttering his fictional reality, or one doesnt. But that also sounds like ones making excuses for him, and after following all
So let''s spitball what the twist might be, shall we?
- Secret ancient time warp
- The characters drank the water and it made them all crazy
- It Was All A Dream
- Bermuda Triangle
- Superintelligent dolphins hypnotizing people and making them experience things that arent really happening
- Superintelligent alien dolphins hypnotizing people and making them experience things that arent really happening
- M. Night Shyamalan plays himself and reveals at the end that hes been making a ridiculous movie just to eff with us the whole time
I will say the truth you shant reveal is dependent on predictability for fatuousness. Perhaps youll discover a bit of it, but Shyamalan is so fully committed to completing a pseudo-thoughtful quasi-philosophical thought experiment, your logic isnt likely to follow him. Have fun poking holes in it and peering into the stupefying abyss, but be careful not to fall in.
Quite often, Shyamalan''s vocality is singular, but that compliment is backhanded. Old is a strange combination of overwrought melodrama (as if would be), unconvincing bickering (where the dialogue is at its most insipid), stunning cinematography (via Mike Gioulakis, who makes his eerie pans and pivots to good use here), laughably grisly gore (its like a slasher with an invisible, existential
SKIP IT is your call. I checked out of Old early, but kept on logging for professional purposes; remember, you do not have to pay such a charge.
Will you stream or skip Night Shyamalan''s latest howler #OldMovie on VOD? #SIOSI