Movie Review: Old

Justin Hall, Culture Reporter


This week on “Justin Hall At The Movies,” I’ll be reviewing director M. Night Shyamalan as he places a group of people on a mysterious beach where they become “Old.”

“Old” is writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller, but it might as well be called his latest disappointment. He once again crafts an intriguing premise, but it’s let down by being in the usual trappings of pretentiousness, ludicrous payoffs, and especially unintentionally hilarious.

The movie stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps as a married couple who are about to be divorced and they take their kids on a last vacation. Alex Wolff and Thomasin McKenzie costar as their kids.

They go to a tropical resort with a private beach as recommended by the resort’s manager and while they’re visiting, they encounter other people also exploring the beach including a doctor (Rufus Sewell) and his wife (Abby Lee) and their daughter (Eliza Scanlen). Others include another physician (Ken Luang) and his epileptic wife (Nikki Amuka-Bird).

Soon after they’re on the beach, strange occurrences take place such as the married couples’ two kids rapidly aging into teens. The rest of the party tries to make sense out of the predicament, but oftentimes, they’re left with more questions than answers. So are we.

Other nonsensical moments including an increasing amount of disturbing behavior that leads to the party trying to kill off one another and one character’s revelations are so ridiculous that we don’t even care when it’s revealed. That’s how I felt about a lot of Old.

As I mentioned, Old is filled with moments of unintentional hilarity and seems to be a specialty of Shyamalan’s. Idiotic dialogue and plot twists around in a way that only either make us howl with laughter or roll our eyes. No sense of shock or amazement is to be found. Here’s another example of a good cast and a great production put under the services of a lame script.

Old is appropriately named because we feel like a lot of moments are lethargic in nature and when it’s not that, it’s odd, scare-free, silly, and just when we hope there’s a method to the madness, we realize there’s only madness.

Grade: C-

(Rated PG-13 for strong violence, disturbing images, suggestive content, partial nudity and brief strong language.)