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Old Actually Has Me Really Excited for M. Night Shyamalan


Gael García Bernal in Old

I grew up in the era of M. Night Shyamalan going from the inventive filmmaker behind The Sixth Sense, with the twist of the century, to someone many film nerds like to make fun of. I enjoy his movies fine. I think they’re interesting, but I haven’t really been excited about one in a while—that is, until I saw the trailer for Old.

Starring the brilliant Gael García Bernal (Y tu mamá también), Thomsin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit), Alex Wolff, and more, it seems like a frightening look at aging, the supernatural, and everything that makes M. Night Shyamalan one of our more interesting filmmakers out there today.

The Lost fan in me also loved to see Ken Leung (who played Miles on the popular show) back in a world where time is a mess. But what makes this trailer so intriguing is what I hope it is saying about life, family, and the understanding of getting older. The horror genre is one of the best ways to tell a story. Our fears in life are rooted in things we don’t understand, and exploring those themes in outlandish ways often forces us to think about the realities of our fears—like aging or watching our children grow up too fast.

I love the little nods to what is happening, like Vicky Krieps’ Kate saying everyone should “slow down” before they ever get to the beach in the first place, and how everything moves so fast when they’re just trying to enjoy their vacation. I loved these two siblings staying together and being there for one another. I loved the struggle of these parents seeing their children growing up without time being on their side, and I loved whatever this movie was selling me in the less than 3 minutes we’ve gotten to see.

What intrigues me is the way that time seems to speed up to show your entire life? When Eliza Scanlen’s Evelyn seems to suddenly end up pregnant and then gives birth, it goes from everyone just super-aging to going through their entire life events even though they don’t know what’s going to happen to them. Rufus Sewell seems to burn alive, Bernal ages and suddenly has wrinkles, and through it all, they’re just trying to keep their families safe, and I love whatever sort of commentary this opens Old up for. Shyamalan normally masters the art of telling us some greater story within his films, and Old seems right up his alley.

We might always have a hit or a miss on our hands with M. Night Shymalan movies, but Old definitely has our interest piqued. What frightening twists does this beach hold? Will anyone make it out alive? And how exactly do things work? We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m excited.

(image: Universal Pictures)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.