‘Old’: There’s something wrong with this beach, but not with this film

Thriller reinforces M. Night Shyamalan’s reputation for surprise endings


Thomasin McKenzie (left) and Alex Wolff (right) demonstrate their concern in “Old.”

Samarrah Shoroye, Staff Writer

People are always saying, “don’t grow up too fast,” but what would you do if you did?  M. Night Shyamalan returns one again with another psychological thriller, “Old,” the story of a family of four looking for a nice relaxing vacation. While at the resort, the family goes to a nice beach along with another group of people, where they learn that growing up too fast can be dangerous.

Once they are at the beach, everything starts off fine. The kids are running around together, and the adults are enjoying the peace, until a body is found in the water. Everybody slowly starts to panic. They don’t know how this girl died. Like any normal person, they try to contact people for help and go back through the rocky cavern that leads them to the beach. 

They can’t leave. They don’t know what to do. The strangers try to work together to get off of the mysterious beach, but nothing works. They start to notice small things about themselves: wrinkles, the slow loss of hearing or sight. Then their children start to grow up. The kids who just six, seven, and eleven years old now look around the ages of fifteen and sixteen.

The panic on the beach starts to increase as people become worried about the children. On top of all the confusion and panic the group is feeling, the few people with illnesses, mental or physical, become a particular concern. An assertive older man, a doctor, quickly becomes disoriented and illogical. A younger woman who has a tumor in her lower abdomen rapidly gets more sick. Yet another young woman who often has seizures appears to be fine.

The panic during the seemingly harmless getaway rises, and people start to freak out and act irrationally. Trying to work together, they know that they absolutely have to get off the beach. 

They soon figure out that years can go by over the course of only a few hours, and if they don’t find a way off the beach soon, their lives could come to a rapid end.

The casting for this movie is phenomenal, including many different races and genders. The cast includes people such as Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Thomasin McKenzie, Alex Wolff and Ken Leung. These actors and actresses did an exceptional job at playing these confused and terrified characters.

Night Shyamalan is best known for his horror and thriller movies such as, “The Sixth Sense,” a movie about a boy who can see and communicate with the dead.  Another film, “The Village,” is the story of a blind girl who tries to save the people in her small village but along the way uncovers secrets that people have tried to keep hidden for a long time. The movie “Signs” follows a family who lives on a farm and has to protect themselves from alien encounters. M. Night Shyamalan’s movies often have an unexpected twist at the end, and the one in “Old,” although not as astonishing as his other works, still has people wondering what is going to happen next.

The movie only had a budget of $18 million, unlike other hit movies such as the 2008 thriller “Taken,” which had a budget of $45 million. Even with a lower than usual budget, the producers did a great job of making this movie entertaining and interesting. It was directed by the man himself M. Night Shyamalan and produced by Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock, who both have produced movies such as “Glass” and “Split,” also directed by M. Night Shyamalan. 

The movie is based on the graphic novel “Sandcastle” by Pierre Oscar Levy Frederik Peeters. Published in 2010, the novel gave plenty of time for the ideas for the movie to click into place. 

The PG-13 rated movie is only available in certain theaters.

This movie doesn’t cease to amaze. It has great acting and the characters were so well written. Anyone who has the opportunity to watch this amazing film should definitely take it.