OLD – “High concept. Big stakes. Paltry payoff”
M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense – 1999)
- Gael García Bernal as Guy
- Vicky Krieps as Prisca
- Rufus Sewell as Charles
- Ken Leung as Jarin
- Nikki Amuka-Bird as Patricia
- Abbey Lee as Chrystal
- Nolan River as six-year-old Trent
- Luca Faustino Rodriguez as eleven-year-old Trent
- Alex Wolff as fifteen-year-old Trent.
- Emun Elliott as adult Trent
- Kyle Bailey as six-year-old Kara
- Mikaya Fisher as eleven-year-old Kara
- Eliza Scanlen as fifteen-year-old Kara
Is loosely based on the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters
A family on a tropical vacation discovers that the secluded beach they are relaxing on for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day.
High concept. Big stakes. Paltry payoff. Yes, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest is disappointing any way you slice it. And it’s a shame, really, given there is a plethora of intriguing elements to the horror-laced plot. The problem is that it’s all played too silly to be taken seriously. There’s also an unfortunate high level of awkward dialogue and stilted performances. It’s not quite the cringeyness found in Shyamalan’s The Happening, but it’s nowhere near the thrilling brilliance of Signs or The Sixth Sense. The movie’s biggest upside is surely the mystery at hand, as the whole “rapidly aging” premise remains a captivating one throughout. This in spite of the fact that nothing is given any real time to “breath,” making the odd incidents feel rather inconsequential as they happen. Trust me, crazy things happen and it’s just like, “oh well, what’s next?” Now, do we find out just what in the heck is happening to these poor people and why? Yes. Is it satisfactory? Well, it’s thought-provoking, but little else. Perhaps it’s because we are forcibly spoon-fed every plot point every step of the way like a bunch of toddlers, but all that is smart about this movie is dumbed-down to the max. Luckily, there is still some fun to be had – as long as you set your expectations jussst right. Alas, mine were unfortunately a little too high I suppose. If there is one thing you can say about our director at this point, it’s that he is consistently inconsistent!