North Texas Daily

‘Old’ shows M. Night Shyamalan’s style is outdated

‘Old’ shows M. Night Shyamalan’s style is outdated

‘Old’ shows M. Night Shyamalan’s style is outdated
August 05
11:20 2021

I have a love-hate relationship with M. Knight Shyamalan. I always try to give him the benefit of the doubt because he is a great filmmaker, but sometimes he can let us down. His direction is brilliant, but he always seems to struggle when it comes to writing. I seem to do this thing where I think every Shyamalan film is going to be great and I should not worry about all the times he has failed miserably — but is time for me to move on from that mindset because “Old” is the film that made me realize maybe it is time for Shyamalan to throw in the towel.

I normally take a paragraph to talk about some of my favorite performances in the film I am reviewing, but I don’t know how to do that here when there were no performances I considered great. Alex Wolff and Thomasin McKenzie carried a majority of the film, but even they would come off as bland sometimes. The story of this film revolves around a bunch of people stuck on some mystical beach. The film tries to make you feel sorry for these characters, but with performances that are unconvincing, it is impossible to sympathize with anyone.

There was some really interesting potential with this story, and I feel like it all got wasted. I am a huge horror fan, and some of the events taking place in this film are extremely horrifying. What is unfortunate is the PG13 rating makes the film hold back in a lot of ways. If you want your audience to be scared, don’t take away the aspect of the horrific scene that will actually shake them to their core. There was so much potential, and I feel like there are other directors working today who could have done this story more justice than Shyamalan. I try to fight for him as a filmmaker, but he continues to let me down. Every movie of his is known to have some big and outrageous twist, but even the twist falls flat in this film.

The movie was not long by any means, running at an hour and 49 minutes, but it still felt like it was dragging on in some moments. I tried my very hardest to stay optimistic during the film, but time and time again something outlandish would happen and I would go back to putting my face in my palm. While there were some unnecessary cutaways during some of the horror-centered scenes, there were some scary scenes in this film that genuinely got me. This film was not all bad, I just wish it could have been more. It feels like everything was in place to make a great movie, but Shyamalan dropped the ball in the end. I feel bad for being so hard on this movie, but I was excited for it to come out. When the credits started rolling I was disappointed and it definitely felt like one of his most unrewarding films to date.

There are enjoyable aspects of this movie, but there are too many unenjoyable aspects getting in the way of it all. It is a shame when a movie like this is being advertised, and it seems like a brilliant idea, only for it to be wasted away by the end. I have seen an extremely split decision on this film, so if it seems interesting, I would say just go see it. I would be lying if I said I had no fun during this movie, and there were some moments that were enjoyable to make fun of. If nothing else, “Old” is one of those movies you just have to go and see for yourself. There are better movies out there, but seeing a Shyamalan movie is a whole event in itself. I will probably continue to defend him, but just know this movie does not get a seal of approval from me at all.

Final rating: 2/5

Courtesy Universal Pictures

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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