Opening 29 Jul 2021
M. Night Shyamalan
Writing credits: M. Night Shyamalan, Pierre-Oscar Lévy, Frederick Peeters
Principal actors: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie
Guy (Gael Barcia Bernal) and his wife Prisca (Vicky Krieps) arrive, with their kids, Trent and Maddox, for vacation at the Animike resort. Trent befriends Idlib, whose uncle works at the resort. The boys have fun sending each other coded messages. It is suggested that the family be driven to an exclusive beach for more fun. They arrive with several other couples, a small girl Kara, a grandmother, and a dog. It’s a beautiful beach surrounded by cliffs, and all is well except that the children seem to be especially hungry more often. They notice a young man, who seems to have arrived earlier, sitting alone. They become acquainted, share experiences. Several seem to have health problems in common: cancer, epilepsy, bloody nose. One is a medical doctor; one a male nurse, one a psychologist. Still, it’s vacation and time for fun. That all changes when a naked, female corpse swims by. Now, the atmosphere turns ominous (supported by scary music), and we realize why the film is entitled “Old.” There is only one urge: escape, but how? There is no cell-phone connection back to civilization. Climb up a cliff? Swim across the water? Go through a cave?
Director M. Night Shyamaian is back with a horror movie, which will appeal to viewers who don’t even like horror films. Here, children and adults make wonderful sandcastles on a beautiful beach, perhaps a compliment to the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters, which provided the ideas for the story. Filmed in the Dominican Republic, this gorgeous scenery is the opposite of the spine-chilling events. A talented mixed-race cast of various ages – “various” in more ways than one – carries the plot. The ending ties the events together well, and we can all give a sigh of relief after a perfect 108 minutes. (Becky Tan)