You never know which kind of M. Night Shyamalan you’re going to get, which is why his latest mysterious thriller Old should be viewed with trepidation. The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable looked to have established him as cinema’s hottest young talent before the law of diminishing returns rapidly set in, with the filmmaker coming close to torpedoing his entire career thanks to the double dose of disappointment that was The Last Airbender and After Earth.
The Visit and Split made it seem as though a resurgence was on the cards, but crossover event Glass was underwhelming in execution, even if it did do big business at the box office. Old uses the acclaimed graphic novel Sandcastle as a jumping off point for the story, and here’s hoping that having solid source material to rely on for inspiration leads to Shyamalan reining in his self-indulgent impulses.
The premise is certainly an intriguing one, with a disparate cast of characters trapped on a beach, where they find themselves gripped by a mysterious phenomenon that ages them every thirty minutes. An existential thriller with horror elements that boasts a unique hook sounds right up Shyamalan’s street, and the first trailer promises some eerie events and no shortage of shady happenings, although there’s obviously going to be much more going on than meets the eye.
Old was initially scheduled for release this month before being delayed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’ll now hit theaters in July. Based on the footage, it looks like a throwback to the tension-fuelled character-driven pieces of Shyamalan’s early career, and could mark another major step in the resurgence of his once formidable brand.