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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

Old; M. Night’s Best Twist in Quite Sometime. Grade: C+

Old tells a story about a bunch of families, out on vacation at a luxury beach resort. All families share similarities, that in some way are struggling mentally, emotionally, or physically. The families got talked into attending this unknown beach, that is supposedly completely remote away from everyone else, as it can ease their mind at peace. But soon the families will know this is not just any regular average Joe beach, this beach has mysterious powers in which you age rapidly over the course of little time. Witness another bizarre original thriller by M. Night Shyamalan, in which your mind will be blown by the twist he has come up with.

M. Night Shyamalan may not be the greatest film maker or the greatest story teller of all time, however I do believe M. Night Shyamalan is an important figure in film. Whether or not he makes a good or bad film, you can least appreciate majority of the time he comes up with original concepts, while also bringing curiosity with each film he has in store. I feel his been on a solid streak his last few films The Visit, Split, and Glass. With Old now being the first original story that’s not apart of the Unbreakable trilogy, now I wonder what he’s able to come up with this time around.

Old has been dealt with mixed criticism by both critics and audience, after watching Old… I understand both sides. There is a fair amount to like and appreciate with Old, however there are some things that could’ve been developed better.

The whole concept of Old is honestly a neat idea, it’s perfect for a thriller and is cost effective in which M. Night knows how to make a considerably budget original tale. Imagine a place in which you grow old over the course of little time?! Can be an unsettling experience, especially the repeated slogan often told “Word of Advice: Never grow Old.” The story telling remains considerably engaging from start to finish, rarely ever is there a dull moment within this film. You’re invested in how the characters try to escape their way out of growing old, as those with the mentality of six years old tend to struggle within their surroundings, as their bodies continue to grow rapidly while those much older are running out of time within the hours.

This film can feel metaphorical in terms of you can not escape death, be careful what you wish for in terms of wanting to die and not appreciating life while living, and you can even throw in that time moves much more rapidly than you think. The best performances of this by far is shared between Alex Wolff and Thomasin McKenize, as I thought both gave pretty solid performances as their older parts of the characters they were playing. As the characters they’re playing are still mentally six to nine I would say, both actors succeeded in maintaining that extremely young mentality, especially Alex Wolff as he was phenomenal with his portrayal.

The best part of this film for me was the Twist… Once the twist was revealed in the finale, it made the film for me much better. For awhile Old was considerably just ok for me, but when the twist hits in the finale, it made the story much more stronger in my opinion as it was very clever indeed. Also enjoyed the effectiveness in thrilling sequences, especially towards the third act with regards to the cave sequence and the sequence by the bond fire.

Old definitely has some weak links to the table. The Cinematography has some nice shots of the beach view, however there is a tendency in which the shots were poorly shot regarding on an off angle. Especially when it’s closed up towards the characters… I felt it needed to zoom a bit back, it just looked off. Majority of the acting I found it to be bad in most situations. We’ll get to the dialogue in just a bit, but majority of these performances were extremely mediocre as one could say the acting in this film can be unintentionally hilarious, that can bring flashbacks to M Night’s earlier film The Happening… I really enjoyed The Happening, but for not wrong reasons.

The writing dialogue speaking can be… Ehhhh. There are some baffling moments, in which the dialogue can make you laugh your ass off because it’s so dumb when hearing these characters speak out loud that it doesn’t seem real. There’s one character in which says “Damn” all the time just randomly and it’s just so funny. There’s a moment in which a character has a tumor removed, as the character tells the audience that they’re better… Why is this needed?! Nobody needs to be told what she’s feeling because we can tell by her body language and facial expressions, you don’t need to tell the audience what we already know. The stereotype racial joke M Night tries to fit misses terribly, could’ve been executed better to where it could be funny.

The logic issues within this beach can really drive someone nuts, by all the problems dealt with. There are going to be moments in which the aging process doesn’t make much sense or isn’t consistent with the concept itself. One can argue about the clothing situation or why characters are at times talking more matured details, when they haven’t throughly lived life to where they would know much older topics at hand. While the twist is being displayed, I felt one scene shouldn’t be shown at all, I rather like M. Night is doing with this story use my imagination, than have it explained to me just how it led up to this exact moment.

Old is definitely not by any means a perfect thriller, but it is a thriller in which you can appreciate regarding a unique standpoint, as M. Night delivered an effective thriller that keeps you fairly engaged from start to finish, while his unique twist comes and saves the day.

Overall, Old is a perfectly average original thriller. I recommend checking this one out, thought it was neat and definitely worth a trip to the theaters for. -Mitch Smietana

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