Micro-Review: Old (2021)

Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps in Old

While it is impossible to say that all of M Night Shyamalan’s films are the same, it is becoming increasingly frequent that the reviews for his movies all point to the same issues. Be it the inconsistent dialogue, the odd casting choices or, most importantly, the twist endings that make of break at least half of his filmography. Old doesn’t change the formula a smidge and for that reason, this review might feel oddly repetitive and to some extent pointless. The dialogue is inconsistent, some of the casting is just bad and almost certainly the ending cripples the film’s climax to the point that this feels like a fan fiction version of a Twilight Zone episode but it is how Old breaks the mold that makes it interesting.

Telling the story of three families stuck on a mysterious beach, unable to escape while aging at a rapid rate, Old is Shyamalan at perhaps his most inventive and adventurous and he squeezes this premise for every bit of campy goodness he can. Old is everything from classic horror to Peter Jackson-esque creature feature and runs the gamut while never going off tonally and even providing some genuine emotion to a story told in fast forward. There are the previously mentioned missteps, with the ending being even dumber than you can possibly imagine but before the final 20 minutes there is a film well worth watching because it never lets up, always feels fresh and is a nice homage to classic sci-fi with a horror twist.


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