Life is just a matter of time.
On an idyllic secluded beach, a group of people finds the corpse of a woman who died under mysterious circumstances. Soon afterward, they begin to grow old inexplicably. Gloomy tale-teller M. Knight Shyamalan’s latest film is an adaptation of Frederik Peeters and Pierre Oscar Lévy’s graphic novel Sandcastle, nominated for an award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival (2011).
Always fascinated by the world of graphic novels, especially characters with superpowers, this time Shyamalan is farther from super-heroics than ever before: the new picture is a screen version of the auteur graphic novel with elements of body horror. Only two movies about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances shown by the director to his actors—Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout (1971) and Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)—can indirectly hint at the plot of Old, the shooting of which was a deep secret.
A master of elaborate setting and dense, unsettling atmosphere, Shyamalan takes on the beloved theme of claustrophobia in a closed community, previously developed in The Village (2004) and Devil (2010). Old was shot on 35mm film by the new star of horror, cinematographer Mike Gioulakis, who has collaborated with Shyamalan on all of his films since Split (2016) as well as on the TV show Servant (2019–present), and is also known for collaborations with David Robert Mitchell (It Follows, Under the Silver Lake) and Jordan Peele (Us). Old’s finest jewel, however, is its cast, starring Gael Garcia Bernal (And Your Mother Too), Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), Abbey Lee Kershaw (The Neon Demon), Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), and the new “scream king” Alex Wolfe (Reincarnation).
The film will be screened in English with Russian subtitles.
Dir. M. Night Shyamalan
USA, 2021. 113 min. 16+