< Old >A 6-year-old kid can’t last two days on the beach. We need to get out.
Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Prisca (Vicky Creeps) visit the resort Anamika Resort to spend their summer vacation with their daughters Maddux (Alexa Swinton & Thomasine Mackenzie) and son Trent (Nolan River & Alex Wolf). The Guy family, who was offered a special trip to the beach, travels by bus with Charles (Rupers Swell), his wife Crystal (Evy Lee), his only daughter Kara (Kylie Backlay & Eliza Scanlan), and Charles’ mother Agnes (Kathleen Charlesant). Passing through the narrow canyon, a beautiful beach unfolds and the party has a happy time. A few minutes later, Patricia (Nicki Amuka Bird) and Jareen (Ken Leung) will join.
However, when a woman, along with famous rapper Mid-Sized Sedan (played by Aaron Pierre), is found drowned, people become anxious. If you try to get out of the canyon where your phone didn’t even pop, you are in a dilemma. The group, who were looking for ways to get out of the beach, saw their children grow into teenagers in half a day and found out that time flew by here.
Director M. Knight Shamalan is famous for his “Twist” that surprises audiences. However, not all of the twists that have consistently been put in any form have been loved. “Sixth Sense” (1999) is one of the best anti-war films in film history, along with “Usual Suspect” (1996). Unbreakable (2000), Signed (2002), Village (2004), The Visit (2015), 23 Identity (2016), and Glass (2018) were also well evaluated.
On the other hand, <Lady in the Water> (2006), <Happening> (2008), <Last Air Vendor> (2010), and <After Earth> (2013) were so cold that they won the Golden Raspberry Award for Best Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. There is no denying one thing in the midst of success and failure. M. Knight Shamalan is a rare writer who knows how to make his own movies in the Hollywood system.
The movie “Old” is about people trapped on a beach (30 minutes here is a year in the outside world) at a tremendous speed. What a chilling and fantastic premise. Where did you get the idea of a story where aging and death, which humans fear most, are melted? Director M. Knight Shamalan says he was immediately fascinated by the development of people who read “Sand Castle,” a short story presented by their daughters, and went on vacation to a remote beach, realizing that their time was going by so fast.
“We spend most of our lives running away from time. And try not to think about time, and even pretend not to know that time moves forward. So I thought it would be great to spend an entire movie talking about the relationship between humans and time.”
Old has the horrors of closed-room horror and body horror. The characters want to get away from the fast-paced beach, but they can’t find a way out. The canyon that came in cannot escape and is surrounded by huge rocks everywhere. The waves are strong to go to the sea.
In a confined space, the characters are at odds over what choice to make and fail. Some people, like Charles, show delirium due to extreme confusion. Behind the confrontation is the discrimination and aversion of white people to people of color. “The open and safe space of vast beaches is slowly becoming dangerous,” explains Old’s isolation and fear.
The fast aging painted by Old is terrifying. Children who arrive on the coast at the age of six cannot survive up to two days because the setting is set to age a year every 30 minutes. As time goes by, the characters lose their physical functions such as memory, vision, and hearing. Crystal, who always manages herself thoroughly to maintain her beautiful appearance, is an extreme manifestation of human fear of failing to accept aging.
Old is also a fable about life. Fast-paced time and death mean a sudden breakup in real life. The fact that I can’t spend time with my family is really scary. The movie emphasizes using the current time for people around you, not for vain desires, through characters who reflect on life and mistakes in the remaining time. Considering the fact that Old was created during the Corona 19 period, it can also be interpreted as a horror that reflects the anxiety and unexpected death of the epidemic era.
Many would expect a great twist in Old, just as they did in M. Night Shamalan’s previous film. It is true that the answer with a “turn” that is tailored to the question of “why is he trapped?” for dramatic fun is somewhat discouraging. Even if it is a metaphor for the coronavirus era, it is so corny. If it is evaluated as a reversal, it is a failure.
Old’s bizarre experiences and tightening anxiety are excellent. Director M. Knight Shamalan knows how to create his own atmosphere. “I wanted to make sure that the audience watching the movie didn’t feel safe for a moment,” he said. “Like the characters in Old, I wanted to solve one suspicion and another suspicion.”
Old is a special film that can only be made by director M. Knight Shamalan. Horror films such as “Get Out” (2017) and “Hereditary” (2018), which are drawing attention recently, cannot be copied. Director M. Knight Shamalan is a storyteller of constant anxiety from Sixth Sense to Old.