The film director known for his twist endings is back and this time it’s a synopsis that’s hard to intrigue. Old sees a group of vacationers trapped on a remote beach, but they realize they’re all aging fast. An adaptation of the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, M Night Shyamalan has given audiences its own episode of the Twilight Zone.
Old takes the time to get started and introduces us to the bickering couple Guy and Prisca and their two children Trent and Maddox.
The unsuspecting family has booked a resort vacation where she and some other guests are told about a secluded beach where they can really relax.
Run over by Shyamalan himself in an extended cameo, we meet other vacationers in a doctor with his younger wife, daughter and mother.
Plus a nurse and his wife, in addition to a famous rapper with a nosebleed who is already on the beach when they arrive.
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When a woman’s body is discovered by the children in the ocean, things really get going.
For the most part, Old becomes intense and entertaining through and through as the group struggles to adjust to the craziness that’s befalling them.
As you might expect, the adults age much more slowly, while the child actors are replaced a few times, but still retain their youthful innocence.
Perhaps the only real disappointment here is how unhurriedly the middle-aged characters age, with only a few crow’s feet and wrinkles here and there on their faces.
Old children grown up
But unraveling the mystery of what’s really going on keeps your attention the whole time before you get to it – don’t worry, we won’t ruin it – the usual twist at the end.
This one isn’t as exciting as you might expect, but adds to the ideas Old is exploring.
At the heart of the film, Shyamalan has his characters come face to face with their own mortality.
The thought of your life being reduced to a single day with all the age-related issues involved is a horror, but at a regular pace, this is a burden that we all carry.
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In an era of pandemic, the world is now more than ever confronted with the fact that our lives are fragile and short; out of here today and tomorrow.
Old finds his terminal leaders forced to consider those they truly care about and decide whether to put their differences aside for the sake of the time they have left together.
While their children, trapped in the bodies of adults, still enjoy those moments to build sandcastles, even though they know the end is inevitable.
Old is in cinemas from Friday.
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