"Sometimes Too Creepy, Disturbing and Jumbled"
What You Need To Know:
OLD is filled with nerve-wracking suspense. However, several creepy, off-putting deaths occur. Also, the two parents and their two children are rather unlikeable until the third act. Eventually, the movie’s ending comes up with a materialist, humanist and non-supernatural explanation and
resolution to the main mystery. It’s a positive ending with a positive moral aspect, but there’s nothing religious, spiritual or mystical about it. OLD also contains some foul language, brief nudity and implied teenage sex in one scene. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
OLD is a psychological horror movie about two parents in a troubled marriage who find themselves trapped with their two young children and several other people on a mysterious beach, which is somehow making everyone grow older and most of the adults sicker, including a doctor suffering from a violent mental breakdown. OLD is filled with creepy, nerve-wracking suspense, but some of the visual imagery and editing is confusing, the characters are hard to identify with until the third act, and the movie’s humanist perspective features some strong foul language, brief nudity, uncomfortable scenes, and a few gruesome images and situations.
The movie opens with Guy and Prisca’s young daughter, Maddox, age 11, gleefully singing while the family, including the son, Trent, age 6, ride a bus to a beautiful resort hotel on an island off South America. At the hotel, the parents sip some cocktails made just for them while Trent and Maddox play with the hotel manager’s own son, Idlib. Idlib teaches Trent how to decipher a coded message and gives hm another message to decipher later. Meanwhile, the movie introduces viewers to a few of the other guests, including a paramedic with an epileptic wife and a middle-aged English doctor vacationing with a young trophy wife, their young daughter and his elderly mother.
That night, Guy and Prisca argue with one another about some kind of sickness one of them is suffering. Apparently, they’ve also decided to separate, but want to hold off telling the children
until after their final vacation together with the children at the resort. The two children cower together in the other room listening to their parents argue.
The next morning, the hotel manager offers the resort van to take the family to an isolated beach on another part of the island, to get away from the other guests. Guy and Prisca agree, but they get upset when they learn that the English doctor and his family will be joining them on the van to the beach. The doctor’s mother has a little barking dog with her, so the trip promises to be anything but peaceful.
The van’s driver drops them off at the pathway leading to the beach, which leads through a windy canyon. He leaves them more food than they can possibly eat, and the doctor expresses displeasure at having to carry so much. The driver tells them he’ll be back at 5 pm, unless they use their cell phones to request a van ride back to the hotel.
When the two families get to the beach, they learn that the beach is surrounded by tall and strangely beautiful rock cliffs. They also see that someone is already sitting by the cliffs. Maddix recognizes the man as a famous rapper calling himself Mid-Sized Sedan, but her parents tell her to leave him alone since he doesn’t seem interested in talking with anyone.
Shortly thereafter, Trent is wading in the little lagoon that leads from the beach to the little canyon. Suddenly, the corpse of a dead blonde woman appears floating behind him. The English doctor examines the corpse and thinks she drowned. It turns out the woman came with the rapper. He tells them that the woman went swimming, and he hasn’t seen her since. However, the doctor notices the man has a nosebleed. He becomes very suspicious of the man. They try to use their phones to alert the hotel, but no one can get a signal.
At this point, the paramedic and his epileptic wife suddenly appear, but they say the van that brought them has already left. Meanwhile Trent, Maddox and the doctor’s little girl return to the adults after the parents had waved them away when the girl’s body appeared. Trent and Maddox introduce themselves to the paramedic and his wife, but the paramedic gets confused when they tell him they’re aged 6 and 11. Is this a joke? he asks. He tells Maddox she looks like 16 and Trent looks like he’s 11, not 6. When Maddox and Trent’s parents join them, they’re surprised to see that their children have indeed aged about five years.
Eventually, when the doctor’s mother dies of a heart attack, they realize that, somehow, the beach is rapidly aging them. Also, when they try to leave the way they came, their heads start to hurt and they become dizzy and collapse.
Directed by suspense master M. Night Shyamalan of THE SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS, OLD is filled with creepy, nerve-wracking suspense. However, creepy, off-putting deaths occur. Also, the two main parents and their two children are rather unlikeable until the third act, when there are two very touching scenes between the parents when they realize they’re dying in another hour or two if they can’t get off the beach. Those scenes remind viewers of the early scene in the movie where the two children cower together while hearing their parent arguing. Finally, some of the visual images, editing and transitions are a little awkward, weird and confusing.
OLD has some pro-family elements. These elements especially come to the fore in the third act when the parents overcome their earlier differences and decide to accept growing old together. The third act also shows the two children, now adults, working together in harmony, as brothers and sisters should. However, the movie’s ending comes up with a materialist, humanist and non-supernatural explanation and resolution to the main mystery. It’s a positive ending with a positive moral aspect (the antagonist is brought to justice), but there’s nothing religious, spiritual or mystical about it.
OLD also contains some foul language, including an “f” word uttered by the father. As mentioned above, much of the violence is disturbing and creepy. A few images are gruesome. There’s also a shot from behind of a young woman taking off her bikini before frolicking in the surf. Finally, there’s a scene that implies that, when they become teenagers, Trent and the doctor’s daughter fornicate together under some towels made into a tent.
Overall, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.