M. Night Shyamalan is on a hot streak at the moment which looks to continue with this summer’s Old. The supernatural thriller is based on Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peters’ graphic novel Sandcastle, which tells of an idyllic beach that has a dark secret – it makes people… old. In the book, we find some unwitting tourists trapped there as they rapidly age, with children growing up before their parents’ eyes and healthy adults crumbling into senility.
Shymalan is reportedly inspired by Sandcastle rather than simply retelling the story, but the core supernatural premise remains the same (though c’mon, there’s obviously going to be a twist). The first trailer was released during the Super Bowl and showed some genuinely freaky stuff, with a mother horrified that her six-year-old son is now an adult and a woman going through an accelerated pregnancy.
Today, we received an extended theatrical trailer and it’s clear that Shyamalan isn’t skimping on the existential terror. There’s something of a body horror aspect to this, too, all offset by the lush tropical backdrop of the Dominican Republic. The new promo also gives us a better look at the cast, which features Gael Garcia Bernal, Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Aaron Pierre, Rufus Sewell and Embeth Davidtz (among many others).
After the flops of The Last Airbender and After Earth, Shyamalan’s directorial future was looking shaky. But over the 2010s he’s been the quintessential comeback kid, with his last three movies (The Visit, Split and Glass) cumulatively grossing $625 million on relatively low budgets.
Beyond that, he’s also the executive producer of Apple TV+ show Servant, which has a been a big hit. So, fingers crossed this carries that winning run and Shymalan continues to unnerve us for years to come.
Old hits theaters on July 23rd.