Old (2021) | Discussion, Recommendations & Spoilers | Film Review
Old (2021) is an American mystery horror film directed by M. Night Shyamalan and written by M. Night Shyamalan. It is based on the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre-Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters. Old (2021) stars Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Vicky Krieps, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rufus Sewell, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Aaron Pierre and Eliza Scanlen. It was released in the United States on July 23, 2021 and distributed by Universal Pictures.
In the beginning of the film, we follow a family of four, married couple Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Prisca (Vicky Krieps) and their children, Trent (Alex Wolff) and Maddox (Thomasin McKenzie). The family is going on vacation at a luxurious resort and we soon discover why; Prisca and Guy are going to divorce and want to give their children one last vacation together before they split.
When the family arrive at the resort, Guy and Prisca are each given a drink, which is a little strange because they arrived unbidden, but Guy and Prisca drink them anyway. Trent is a precocious six-year-old and Maddox is his protective older sister. At the breakfast buffet, Trent meets another young boy named Idlib (Kailen Jude), who turns out to be the resort manager's nephew. Trent and Idlib have fun by writing each other secret messages.
Later in the day, Trent's family goes to the resort beach to enjoy the day. We find out that Guy is worried about a tumor that Prisca has developed. Prisca assures Guy that it is benign and there is nothing to worry about.
The next day, the resort manager suggests to the family that they travel to a secluded beach a short distance away. The family agrees and soon find themselves on the road to the beach. An employee of the resort hands them a large basket of food when they arrive, but refuses to help them carry it or show them the way to the beach.
The family follows the path that leads them to the beach and are taken in by the breathtaking views when they arrive. They soon discover other people have also been directed to the beach. As the day progresses, Trent goes off to explore and finds a dead woman in the water.
The group comes together and decide to talk to a man named Mid-Sized Sedan (Aaron Pierre) who was already on the beach and discover the dead woman is the man's girlfriend. It turns out he was waiting for her to come back from swimming only a few hours before. They put his girlfriend under a towel and talk amongst themselves to try to figure out what could've happened to her.
Then, another family has an emergency. A surgeon named Charles (Rufus Sewell), his wife, Chrystal (Abbey Lee) his daughter, Kara (Eliza Scanlen) and his mother, Agnes Kathleen Chalfant). find themselves worried about Agnes as she seems to be sick. A few moments later, Agnes dies. Charles is distraught about his mother's death and Trent's family is very apprehensive about the situation. It appears that Trent and Maddox have aged several years in a manner of a few hours. Mid-Sized Sedan finds that his girlfriend is now nothing but a pile of bones and it soon becomes clear that everyone on the beach is aging at a rapid rate.
As the film progresses, the group tries to figure out the mystery of the beach, why everyone is aging and if they can escape.
If You Like This Film, You May Also Like:
I don't know. If you like this movie, you might like really, really, extremely, terribly bad mystery movies. Here's some good ones to watch instead:
Fight Club (1999)
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
The Endless (2017) (Sequel to Resolution)
*Discussion contains spoilers
Hmm...where to start? Well, this movie was terrible, horrible, atrocious and one of the worst I've seen this year. Here are my thoughts...if M. Night Shyamalan wants to drive you to a beach, that's red flag #1. If he provides you with a huge basket of food for a few hours on the beach, that's red flag #2. He's probably either trying to trap you there for a few days or poison you because it's not like the d-bag gave you a Yeti cooler with ice. Have fun eating unrefrigerated chicken and mayonnaise that's been sitting out in the hot sun all day at the beach. I bet $1,000,000 you get the blood shits and die in the sun after a few hours (which was probably his plan all along).
Here's another red flag, if you arrive at a resort and they are really insistent about you drinking some beverage you didn't order, want you to have that drink that they prepared specifically for you and you didn't see them make it, don't drink it. It's either got GHB in it, some kind of sleeping pill, or in this case, an experimental drug that they will use to do their new illegal drug trials, all brought to you by the resort run by nerds.
It turns out these nerds have no scruples or morals or any way to get jobs doing legal drug trials. Makes me think they either failed out of some nerd program at college or graduated from some crap school with a 1.2 GPA. Apparently, the beach is some kind of time fuckery that makes you age very rapidly and the not-so-bright nerds have been giving people who are sick experimental drugs to complete drug trials in one day. That's great, you know. I'm sure they are getting all kinds of accurate information from their illegal, murderous and janky drug trials.
I mean, who are they going to give this information to if the drugs work? Who is making the drugs? Is Pfizer in on this? BioNTech? Probably InGen. I mean, it's not like InGen gave a shit if the dinosaurs got loose and killed a bunch of people (which you know, they did...in every. single. film.). Also, I was right, M. Night Shyamalan sure is in on it, as he watches the group the whole time from some cliff on the beach.
I just don't get it. I mean, I'm pretty sure there are terminally ill people who would probably volunteer for this even if it is completely messed up. Even people who aren't terminally ill would probably volunteer for this. It could probably take place in Oregon, since assisted suicide is legal there. I mean, you don't have to trick people to go on your accelerated time beach and hatch your evil "try out our experimental pharmaceuticals illegally and die in a day" plan.
I think this film would've been better if the people on the beach were all evil or had done horrible things and it was a punishment. The only evil one was Charles the Surgeon, who, as it turns out, was crazier than a shithouse rat. Charles was supposed to have schizophrenia, but really it seemed like he was just psychopathic and racist.
In the end, only Trent and Maddox survived. Trent found a note from Idlib that said "My Uncle doesn't like the coral". There was a huge expanse of coral just off the beach and Trent and Maddox figured out from that extremely vague note that that was the way to get out (sure, Jan). They swam out through the coral, escaped, and made their way back to the resort, where they told a police officer what happened and gave him a journal they found on the beach.
Okay, sure, that could happen. You could rapidly age on a beach, make it out, just explain, and everyone will automatically believe you and send out everyone to take down the evil nerd operation or...the police officer could be like, "Stop smoking the crack" or..."Get away from me you nut bag" and tell you to buzz off. I mean, that's probably more likely.
Another thing about this movie is I don't really get the whole aging mentally thing. Trent was six-years-old mentally and supposedly had sex with another kid when they were in teenage bodies? Does the beach make you age mentally? I think people would just be batshit crazy if the beach messed with your head like that. The alternative is somehow kids figured out how to have sex, which is really gross when I think about it (I tried not to think about it).
As far as the acting, I usually like Alex Wolff's acting, but he kept going back and forth acting like he was young, then older, then young again. I was like, are you supposed to be six or middle-aged? Pick an age. I highly doubt he'd have the mental capacity of a middle-aged man in two days. I feel like Thomasin McKenzie did a better job at acting like a kid throughout the film, even in body language alone she was more convincing as a kid in an older body.
As far as the characters, I didn't find myself liking many of the characters in general. No one really stood out and I didn't really care much about what happened to them. I mean, the only people I cared about escaping were the kids and Mid-Sized Sedan (lol). I wasn't against anyone else escaping (except for crazy Charles), I just didn't care that much.
What did you think about this movie? Did you like it? Did you think it was ridiculous? Just plain bad? Please share your thoughts below!