Night Shyamalan’s Old is a 2021 American thriller film that he wrote, directed, and produced. It’s based on Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters’ Sandcastle, a French-language Swiss comic book.
On a tropical vacation, a family learns that the quiet beach where they are resting for a few hours is causing them to age fast, compressing their whole lives into a single day.
- Rating: PG-13 (Disturbing Images|Brief Strong Language|Partial Nudity|Strong Violence|Suggestive Content)
- Genre: Mystery & Thriller
- Original Language: English
- Director: Night Shyamalan
- Producer: Night Shyamalan, Ashwin Rajan, Marc Bienstock
- Writer: Night Shyamalan
- Release Date (Theaters): Jul 23, 2021, Wide
- Production Co: Universal Pictures, Blinding Edge Pictures
Old (2021) Review
Gael Garca Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Aaron Pierre, Embeth Davidtz, and Emun Elliott are among the ensemble cast members in the film. The story revolves around a group of people who discover that they are quickly aging on a remote beach.
After receiving Sandcastle as a Father’s Day present, Shyamalan decided to turn it into a film. In September 2019, the filmmaker revealed a collaboration with Universal Pictures for the then-untitled project. The following year, during the COVID-19 epidemic, cinematographer Michael Gioulakis filmed for three months in the Dominican Republic.
On July 19, 2021, Old had its world debut at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, and on July 23, it was distributed theatrically in the United States. It had a global box office total of $55.3 million and has garnered mixed reviews from reviewers, with acclaim for the photography and premise but criticism for the writing and performances.
The themes and the unexpected conclusion of the film drew mixed reactions.
Guy and Prisca Cappa take a final family trip to a tropical resort with their young children Maddox and Trent before divorcing. The family goes to a secluded beach on the advice of the resort’s manager, where they meet three other people: rapper Mid-Sized Sedan and a female companion; surgeon Charles, his wife Chrystal, their young daughter Kara, and Charles’ mother Agnes; and Jarin and Patricia Carmichael, a close-knit husband, and wife. When the drowned body of Mid-Sized Sedan’s friend is discovered, tragedy strikes the group’s holiday, followed by Agnes’ untimely death. Strange things begin to happen, including the three children’s maturation into teens. The gang learns that the beach is rapidly aging them, with a year of growth passing every 30 minutes on average. They also learn that at least one family member has a medical problem and that attempting to flee will end in them passing out and waking up on the beach.
Further tragedy ensues as a growing relationship between Kara and Trent leads to Kara giving delivery swiftly, only for the infant to succumb to the beach’s effects. Trent and Maddox uncover a previous traveler’s diary, as well as signs that they are being followed while attempting to flee the beach with the rest of the party. When Charles’s insanity worsens, he kills Mid-Sized Sedan, the attempts to flee get tenser. As they search for a way out, Jarin drowns and Kara falls to her death, while Patricia and Chrystal die of aggravated epilepsy and hypocalcemia, respectively. In a psychotic episode, Charles assaults Guy at night, but Prisca cuts him with a rusty knife, causing a deadly infection. As the night wears on, an old Guy and Prisca make apologies before passing away minutes apart.
Trent revisits a hidden message provided to him by the manager’s nephew, which he deduces is related to an underwater coral passage, with just the now-adult Maddox and Trent left the next morning. He and his sister begin swimming through the coral, believing that the route will allow him and Maddox to leave the beach without losing consciousness. When they don’t emerge from the water, a resort employee who is keeping an eye on them, claims that the entire party has drowned.
The resort is discovered to be a front for a research team conducting clinical trials of new medicinal medicines, with visitors unwittingly serving as test subjects. The researchers were able to complete the medicines’ lifetime trials in a single day since the beach inherently speeds up the lives of the visitors. The researchers continue their plan to lure a fresh group to the beach but are stopped when Trent and Maddox arrive, having survived their underwater journey. The siblings are able to summon the authorities to the resort by using the journal as evidence of numerous visitors going missing. Trent and Maddox return home to live with their aunt when the researchers are apprehended, unsure of their future.
Old has made $55.3 million globally as of August 7, 2021, with $37.1 million in the United States and Canada and $18.2 million in other regions.
Variety and Deadline Hollywood stated a week before the film’s release that film analysts anticipated it would gross $12–15 million in its opening weekend, with some speculating that the film’s competitors, which had the same target group, would have an influence on box office receipts. Old earned $6.9 million on its opening day, including $1.5 million from Thursday night previews, when it was released with Snake Eyes and Joe Bell in 3,355 theaters on July 23, 2021. It went on to earn $16.85 million in its first weekend, making it Shyamalan’s sixth top-grossing film, while having the lowest opening weekend of his career. “Maybe, as a community, we are suffering from screen fatigue’ — not in the limited sense of headaches, eye strain, and Computer Vision Syndrome, but in a far broader way, as a culture,” Michael Cieply said, describing the openers of Old and Snake Eyes as “weak.” We’ve had enough of Zoom calls. We’ve had enough of event television. We’re sick of staring at ourselves on huge and little media screens.” The film’s second weekend grossed $6.86 million, putting it in second place.
Old made $6.5 million on its first weekend in 23 cities across the world. Russia ($2.1 million), the United Kingdom ($1.1 million), Mexico ($800,000), Italy ($600,000), and France ($500,000) were the top five countries. The picture grossed $7.5 million in 44 markets in its second weekend, including a $1.2 million debut in Spain.
On Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregation website that solely categorizes reviews as positive or negative, 50 percent of 286 reviews are favorable, with an average rating of 5.5/10. “Old has no shortage of fascinating ideas — and writer-director M. Night Shyamalan’s inconsistent execution will excite or irritate audiences, with no middle ground between,” says the website’s critical consensus. Old got “mixed or mediocre reviews,” according to Metacritic, which analyzed 52 reviews and derived a weighted score of 55 out of 100. The film received an average grade of “C+” on an A+ to F scale from CinemaScore polled audiences, with 52 percent of females and 62 percent of those over the age of 25 giving it a positive rating, while PostTrak reported that 61 percent of the audience members gave it a positive rating, with 37 percent saying they would definitely recommend it.
The storyline, language, and performance in Old were all panned. The Observer’s Wendy Ide called the film’s exposition “ponderous and mannered,” and wondered, “How are we supposed to trust the film’s core concept if we can’t believe the characters?” Terrence “TT” of WXIX-TV Todd agreed, saying that while the idea was intriguing, the storyline was unclear and might have been better presented as a separate television show. Alissa Wilkinson of Vox said that “Shyamalan hasn’t gotten any better at crafting dialogue over the years,” but that the picture was similar to Luis Buuel’s The Exterminating Angel at its best.
Meanwhile, the cinematography of the film was praised. The Associated Press’ Jocelyn Novec noted the film had “an appealing idea and gorgeous setting” while panning it in general. Pete Hammond stated, “In his Deadline Hollywood review, “I don’t think this one will hold up well over time, and parts of it are downright ridiculous. At the very least, as a midsummer theatrical release, the spectacular setting should provide a welcome break from the heat.” The film’s primary setting was characterized as “simply stunning” by critic Richard Roeper, while The New Yorker’s Richard Brody said, “With minimal methods and crisp visuals, the filmmaker converts a simple concept into compelling fantasy.”
The themes and the unexpected conclusion of the film garnered mixed reviews from critics. The novel Sandcastle, on which the film is based, concludes without revealing why the beach ages its visitors, which Wilkinson found “more gratifying.” “How poorly [Shyamalan] handles poignant themes like abrupt death and the collapse of time that should resonate forcefully in the COVID-19 age,” ABC News’ Peter Travers remarked. Even his defense of family values in the face of global youth idolatry comes out as formulaic.” “Shyamalan’s fluid filmmaking style serves him especially well here [and] the way he switches out his actors as their characters age is seamless,” Glenn Kenny wrote for The New York Times, but added that “while Shyamalan is often cited for his tricky endings, it’s arguable that he doesn’t quite stick the landing with this one.”
What is the film Old About?
The story revolves around a group of people who discover that they are quickly aging on a remote beach. After receiving Sandcastle as a Father’s Day present, Shyamalan decided to turn it into a film.
Old Release Dates
|Belgium||21 July 2021|
|Finland||21 July 2021|
|France||21 July 2021|
|Iceland||21 July 2021|
|Italy||21 July 2021|
|Argentina||22 July 2021|
|Australia||22 July 2021|
|Brazil||22 July 2021|
|Denmark||22 July 2021|
|Mexico||22 July 2021|
|Netherlands||22 July 2021|
|Portugal||22 July 2021|
|Russia||22 July 2021|
|Slovakia||22 July 2021|
|Ukraine||22 July 2021|
|Bulgaria||23 July 2021|
|Canada||23 July 2021|
|UK||23 July 2021|
|Ireland||23 July 2021|
|Lithuania||23 July 2021|
|Sweden||23 July 2021|
|USA||23 July 2021|
|Germany||29 July 2021|
|Hungary||29 July 2021|
|Spain||30 July 2021|
|Singapore||12 August 2021|
|Turkey||13 August 2021|
|Japan||27 August 2021|
Also Known As (AKA)
|Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)||В капана на времето|
|Canada (French title)||Anormal|
|China (Mandarin title)||诡老|
|India (English title)||Old|
|India (Hindi title)||Old|
|Japan (Japanese title)||オールド|
|Portugal||Presos no Tempo|
|Turkey (Turkish title)||Zamanda Tutsak|
|USA (alternative title)||Decrepit|
OLD OFFICIAL TRAILER