One thing you can credit M. Night Shyamalan for is that he knows how to tell a chilling, disturbing story that will make you shudder from the implications of it. Old is one of the many movies out there that aren’t entirely overwhelming but are still interesting enough that it’s worth watching at least once. How people get confused about it is easy to understand since not everything is fully fleshed out. This feels better since it leaves people wondering what is going on and what they might be missing when the truth is that the director is skilled enough at telling a story that he can get people interested and keep them that way by crafting a tale that leaves enough unknown elements out there that people will want to discover. In other words, Old is a story with concrete elements that can be focused on but also contain enough hidden and obscure moments that make people wonder. Some folks have grown tired of Shyamalan, but others are still willing to give his movies a chance.
The movie comes off with the same feeling as many of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies, strange.
There’s always something going on with these movies, so it’s easy to feel that there is fluidity beyond the subject being observed. Thankfully, they don’t exist in a vacuum, and life is moving forward. But as with most of his movies, Shyamalan challenges the focus of the audience since there is so much going on. With Old, the feeling is that something is lying just beneath the surface. Still, some folks might think that it’s the various issues that each group within this movie has to deal with. Guy and Prisca are in the middle of a divorce. The doctor and his wife have their own issues even if everything appears to be fine, and there is something about the island that doesn’t feel right. The sad part of this is that many people probably didn’t put their finger on it right away. That feels like it was part of the point, though.
There are hints that something is off as the story progresses.
From the odd feeling around the resort and the foreshadowing that goes into the story, the audience should know, even without the trailers, that something strange and bad is about to happen. The fact that one woman has a seizure during breakfast feels like a red flag, while the next big one is that the guide won’t help the families carry the supplies to the beach. That might not appear to be that big of a deal since some companies have policies that won’t allow their employees to go above and beyond their standard terms of service. But it does stand to reason that a resort might have guides to take people through the wilderness and make sure that they reach their destination without any mishaps since this could mean a massive lawsuit on the part of the resort. But seeing how this is a movie, it’s easy to imagine that people won’t say much if anything.
The aging process was enjoyable, as were the other effects.
Aging one year every thirty minutes sounds terrifying to some people since it means that within a given day, a person is aging for decades. That’s a scary proposition to many people already old enough to contemplate what will happen when a few years pass, let alone a decade or more. Plus, any pre-existing conditions or any conditions that might be hereditary could be even scarier. This is proven as Prisca’s tumor grows to the size of a cantaloupe, the doctor is killed by rust poisoning, a baby born to one of the rapidly-aging teens dies because of the passage of time and lack of proper care, and a few other things. In other words, this beach is a death sentence and the fact that the resort, which is, in truth, a research facility that is attempting to find out how this effect works, only makes things worse. But it does make for an intriguing story.
Much like many Shyamalan stories, this one ends with a twist that makes a person think.
If a person doesn’t enjoy thinking about a movie, this might not be the one, but there are a lot of interesting elements to this story that deserves to be looked at after the first viewing. There are a few inconsistencies that might need to be ironed out, and there are likely many people who have pointed this out since the movie was released. But if a person can shut at least part of their brain off, this is a fun movie with a few twists that are worth thinking about.
Old is a movie that could get better with time, ironically.