OLD (2021) Reviews and overview of M. Night Shyamalan mystery

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‘It’s only a matter of time’

Old is a 2021 science fiction mystery film about a family on a tropical holiday that discovers they are ageing at a very rapid speed.

Written, co-produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Glass; Split; The Visit; Devil; Signs; The Sixth Sense) based on the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre-Oscar Levy and Frederick Peeters, the Blinding Edge Pictures movie was co-produced by Ashwin Rajan (Glass, AppleTV+’s Servant) and Marc Bienstock (Glass; Split).

The movie stars Rufus Sewell, Thomasin McKenzie, Embeth Davidtz, Eliza Scanlen and Abbey Lee.

A family on a tropical holiday discovers that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow affecting their metabolic rate and causing them to age very rapidly… reducing their entire lives into a single day!


Old should best be re-evaluated as a comedy – a midnight movie in waiting even – as the choices Shyamalan makes (including giving himself something of a plum role) all defy logic.  You won’t lose any actual years off your life with this, but even these 108 minutes feel too precious to spend on a film that, despite being about getting older, aeroplane-spoon feeds its audience as if we were still in the learning development stages of our existence.” The Au Review

Old presents an absurd time-lapse scenario. No twists or surprises punctuate this bizarre trip, just a few moments of horror and a whole lot of cringe humor. […] Old does win points for being unique. It also keeps you engaged throughout, thanks to its disjointed and warring tones. Its themes are more intriguing than its narrative or its blandly written characters, however, despite a cast giving it their all.” Bloody Disgusting

“For all of Old‘s flaws – and those flaws are bounteous! – it’s a film with energy; a film with life. Shyamalan doesn’t appear to have a firm grasp on this material, but again, he’s trying! He’s trying to give us something different. And these days, that’s the sort of thing we should all be longing for. Besides, Old has its solidly crafted moments. There’s some particularly nasty body horror here…” /Film

“The large ensemble cast sometimes makes it difficult to entirely empathise with the characters’ predicament, as the action moves rapidly from one to another, and the film might have been improved by having fewer people involved […] Old may not the best film dealing with extraordinary events but it does contain enough moments to keep you guessing and its denouement is satisfying, successfully tying up the plot’s loose elements.” A Film Life

“The elements of silliness and deadly seriousness are nicely balanced and although I wasn’t absolutely sure about the ending, which has maybe too neat a bow tied on it, this is just very enjoyable and I was on the edge of my seat, not knowing whether to flinch or laugh, though I did both […] Time raced by while I was watching it.” The Guardian

” …there was a good chunk of time during the middle of Old, where everything worked very well for me. A lot is happening and it’s quite scary and chaotic. However, this is exactly where Shyamalan shines as both a writer and director. The beginning of the movie isn’t that strong and the ending could have been stronger.” Heaven of Horror

“I have a feeling that Old’s ending will go down as one of Shyamalan’s bests. So, if you are wondering if Old is a movie you should see, my answer is a big yes. It’s a breath of fresh air that the genre desperately needs. It’s clever, gripping, and unnerving.” Horror Fuel

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