Charles (Rufus Sewell) suffers the sinister effects of being on this particular beach.
When things started getting weird in OLD I couldn't help but think of the ABC TV series LOST. A show I was proudly obsessed with and still cherish deeply even now. The premise involved a group of strangers who crash land on a mysterious island where all sorts of odd things start happening. What ultimately made that show a huge success was not just the supernatural happenings on the island but the incredible cast of actors that brought a realism and humanity to their characters. I'm happy to say that OLD's ensemble of actors are just as indelible. While the film doesn't have a lot of time to really develop the characters, the actors are so good that they engross the viewer and make you concerned for their predicament. This is some of the best casting I've ever seen. The actors (at all ages) are just spot on perfect and if this film were to win one award it should be for best ensemble. SAG members take note!
OLD is based on a French graphic novel called SANDCASTLE by Pierre Oscar Levy. The premise involves a group of random strangers who find themselves trapped on a secluded beach where time moves extremely fast, causing everyone on it to age rapidly. Shyamalan said the graphic novel hit a chord with him and the fear he has of death, especially in thinking about his parents moving on.
You can feel his passion for the material throughout. When the film is not delivering jolts or creating unease it's making you have an existential crisis about your own mortality. Combined with the amazing talents of cinematographer Mike Gioulakis M. Night achieves something deeply unsettling and fascinating to watch unfold. The camera work in particular is extremely unique and I was surprised to see this kind of artistry from a director who I had assumed (up until now) was more interested in creating his own Marvel Cinematic Universe than to embrace something close to experimental in nature.
There's a scene towards the end that is still stuck in my head and the more I play it out the more moving and tragic it is. While the final explanation may not satisfy everyone I liked the closure it provided and it didn't take away my enjoyment of everything that transpired prior.
This is M. Night's most shocking film since THE SIXTH SENSE. If you've been let down by the writer/director in the past you may want to give him another shot. OLD is a trip well worth taking on the big screen. It was even shot on 35mm film!