M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller Old arrives in theaters on July 23, and critics are divided on whether the age-based horror is a hit.
Based on the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, Old follows a group of people who find themselves ageing rapidly on a mysterious beach from which they can’t escape. The film’s concept exacerbates the small horrors of ageing, employing a large cast to portray the film’s characters at various ages as their lives condense into a single day.
The film currently has a score of 55 on GameSpot’s sister site Metacritic, with reviews mostly positive or mixed. Below you can find a selection of critic’s reviews for M. Night Shyamalan’s Old.
- Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
- Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
- Starring: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung, Alex Wolff
- Release Date: July 23 (United States)
GameSpot – 7/10
“Old is an effective thriller that fully delivers on its premise, exploring the idea of aging an entire lifetime in a single day in all the ways you’d want it to. The small horrors of getting old, normally stretched out over decades, prove terrifying indeed when condensed into a short couple of hours.” — Michael Rougeau [Full review]
“At its (black) heart, Old is an affirmation that Shyamalan can now do whatever the hell he wants without the pressure of delivering a new timeless classic every time out. However, now that he can go nuts, how about some (slightly) larger budgets and an R-rating next time?” — Scott Mendelson [Full review]
“I’ll cut to the chase: Old is good. It’s very good. This is also a movie where audience participation is encouraged. Though I watched at home, on a link provided to critics, I still shouted at my laptop at least three times. There’s enough in Old that feels new.” — Jordan Hoffman [Full review]
“Old is less a thriller than an off-kilter fairy tale, a winking parable about the narrow selfishness of adulthood snuffing out the broad curiosity of children. It’s not particularly subtle, but it is affectionate and a little bit wistful. As a thriller, the film is middling, occasionally confronting the audience with shocking body horror, but mostly exploring overwrought anxieties. As a lamentation, it’s sometimes facile, but also occasionally beautiful.” — Joshua Rivera [Full review]
“Watching “Old” will take about four years off your life–or just under two hours, depending on which way you’re reading your trusty temporal-wormhole conversion chart. The movie, you see, follows a group of unfortunate vacationers who get stuck on a private beach, where they fall victim to an alarming, irreversible, inexplicable process of accelerated aging. Did I say inexplicable? How silly of me. This is a thriller written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, after all, which means there’s always an explanation or two or 200. It’s a wonder he isn’t still explaining it as the credits roll.” — Justin Chang [Full review]
“In some ways, the direction is Shyamalan at the top of his game with striking shot compositions, some really effective scares for a PG-13 movie, and once again showing that when it comes to directing kids, he’s on the same level as his idol, Steven Spielberg. But in other ways, you can see Shyamalan’s weaknesses shining through as he lets his premise and mystery overwhelm any character development so that most of the cast is reduced to one-dimensional cutouts incapable of real human moments.” — Matt Goldberg [Full review]