Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Aaron Pierre, Embeth Davidtz, Emun Elliott
If you feel safe and secure enough to go to a cinema, there is definitely one film you should definitely give a miss.
(And yes – we did use definitely twice, to underline how much you should not see it. Make that three.)
Old is the new film by M. Night Shyamalan, and as you would expect, it has a supernatural feel (almost) to it, complete with a traditional and typical twist right at the end.
A family go to a spa retreat for time away, for rest and reconciliation reasons.
A mysterious member of staff points the family to a mysterious beach – an exclusive and one of a kind place – and they are soon joined by other guests.
The collective conglomerate of spa residents find their bodies ageing in an accelerated fashion, yet unable to leave.
John Barrowman went viral on Twitter recently for a steaming rebuke filmed on camera with his husband, Scott – because they walked out of the film and demanded a refund.
Tagging the director in was not the best of public moves, either.
However, if you read through the comments, you would see similar views expressed.
We thought we would save you the viewing time by reviewing Old – and then you can still decide if you would like to see the film.
There are significant spoilers for Shyamalan’s Old past this point – just be warned, as no punches will be pulled.
We Need To Talk About Old’s Plot Holes. Because Plot Holes Prevent A Good Plot
Read more: Glass Review
Science fiction, or any similar genre, means that an audience will be forced – and will have to – use their imagination – in order for it to be at least plausible.
Old has so many different plot holes that the continuity of the film is questionable for a lot of the viewing time.
We hear constantly how rust will be deadly, and how children should not place with rusted objects to prevents a deadly impact to their health.
And yet – because of the accelerated impact of ageing – one female cast member finds that her benigne tumour grows to the size of a football.
To save her life, a doctor also on the beach has to cut her open and remove it – but to keep that wound from sealing up, as is an by-product of ‘the beach’, the majority of the other cast members have to stuff their hands inside the fairly deep wound while this football-size mass is extracted.
And yet, there is no impact from sandy, unclean, unsanitised hands being inside someone – whereas rust is so deadly it induces shouting at times.
This is just one example of a plot hole.
But it makes the film incoherent at times – and the same needs to be said of the dreadful accents that chop and change every few minutes.
What The Hell Is It With The Spider-Legged Influencer?
Virtually every character has an archetype stereotype that they fulfil, aside from the loner emo type films love, for some reason.
There is an influencer type parent, complete with flat abs and a high waisted two-piece swimsuit and heels, who poses on and off for Instagram selfies.
She is picturesque, statuesque, and embodies something of a curated lifestyle, complete with repeated references to needing calcium in some kind of vitamin intake method.
Every single adult comes to die, having reached their pensioner years.
These deaths are sometimes brutal, sometimes quite heart-rendering, all but leaving the children to live and fight on while trying to escape the beach.
But the influencer character loses her mind somewhat and takes to a cave while throwing rocks around.
A kind of possession takes place, ending in the character having some kind of fit.
The light returns – she has broken so many joints, becoming something of a contorted spider of a human.
What the hell is it with the spider-legged influencer? It was so bizarre.
The Ethics Of This Are Never Really Resolved – And It Will Do Your Head In
Upon leaving the cinema, my family had so many questions about the ethics of this film’s concepts, and it was a very rigorous discussion.
The children age enough so that they experience puberty, all the way until around the age of fifty-sixty.
But if you are accelerated in terms of ageing – which so much of the film is spent questioning, enough to be really tedious – does your mind also?
Because for some of the film, it seems some of the children aged to around thirteen years old but were insistent they were six.
Yet a child is conceived, brought into the word, who later dies on the beach; relationships are formed and end, complete with discussions about marriage.
The ethics are twisted and contradictory.
It will do your head in to not be given a proper answer.
And The Twist? What About That?
Like with every M. Night Shyamalan film, there is always a twist right at the end – and they are usually not at all resolved, or once a partial resolution is in place.
The beach has been adapted as part of a medical experiment trial field – where new medicines for conditions such as Epilepsy are tested out in real-time.
The two youngest children, now around fifty years old, manage to break out and get off the Island to blow the whistle about what has been happening.
We see candid shots inside the facility of the testing that has gone on, even with a moment of silence being held for the most recent trial participants.
There is a hubris of what happens – largely just with standing around, police officers being called in, and more.
This twist is really tired, and frankly, cliched.
Not much is said about the ethics of the situation, either.
The end of this plot feels somewhat rushed and not fully resolved.
If you want a good M. Night Shyamalan film, go with The Sixth Sense.
If you want a better film, go with something like Split or Unbreakable.
Just miss Old.
Have you seen M. Night Shyamalan’s Old yet?
If so, what did you make of it?
What do you make of this story? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages! And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out our podcasts, Small Screen Stories and Small Screen Film Club wherever you get your podcasts!