A mind-boggling psychological thriller that divided critics matures on streaming

Old 2021 Thriller Horror
Image via Universal Pictures

Despite claims of inconsistency and the inclusion of unnecessary twists, there’s simply no denying that horror auteur M. Night Shyamalan is one of the most diligent filmmakers in the realm of cinema. From an extraterrestrial takeover in Signs to flipped Cotard’s delusion in The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan continues to ignite a long-standing resume built on jaw-dropping feature films — which includes his most recent horror/thriller flick, Old.

Following Shyamalan’s typical bizarre trope of mind-trickery, Old follows a group of tourists at a tropical vacation resort who find themselves stranded on a local remote beach. Throughout their time spent on the beach, the group begins to realize that the beach’s atmosphere is rapidly aging them over the course of the day. In doing so, the aging process inadvertently causes fits of schizophrenia, impaired vision, and hemophilia in the group.

Old M. Night Shyamalan
via Universal Pictures

In the aftermath of the movie’s release, the supernatural thriller effectively divided stone-faced critics, splitting opinions straight down the middle whether its hopeful premise actually worked in creating a successful flick. This split was echoed in Old’s Rotten Tomatoes score, which displayed an even 50 percent critics’ score with a slightly-improved 53 percent audience score.

Nevertheless, eagle-eyed HBO Max subscribers apparently found plenty of interest in the film and helped it mature on the streaming charts. As per FlixPatrol, Old has secured its status as one of HBO’s most-watched films in a few countries around the world — and it only looks to be trending upwards as spooky season closes in.