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M. Night Shyamalan
Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell
Writing Credits:
M. Night Shyamala

A vacationing family discovers that the secluded beach where they're relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day.

Box Office:
$18 million.
Opening Weekend:
$16,854,735 on 3355 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
Spanish Dolby 7.1
French Dolby 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 10/19/2021

• Deleted Scenes
• “Shyamalan Family Business” Featurette
• “All the Beach Is a Stage” Featurette
• “Nightmares In Paradise” Featurette
• “A Family In the Moment” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Old [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 9, 2021)

20 years ago, M. Night Shyamalan looked like he might enjoy a long career as a true “A”-list director. 10 years ago, a few flops left the impression he might fade from the public eye before long.

2015’s The Visit helped alter that trajectory. It set up a model by which Shyamalan created inexpensive movies that would turn a profit even if they didn’t make megabucks ala his biggest hits like The Sixth Sense and Signs.

With a low $18 million budget, 2021’s Old continues this trend. The film introduces us to the Cappa family: father Guy (Gael García Bernal), mother Prisca (Vicky Krieps), 11-year-old daughter Maddox (Alexa Swinton) and six-year-old son Trent (Nolan River).

They take a vacation at a swanky resort and along with a handful of others, the manager (Gustaf Hammarsten) allows them to visit an exclusive beach. This seems idyllic at first but a hidden downside soon emerges when the guests discover that something about this area causes all of them to age at a rapid rate – and they can’t find a way to escape this location.

Over the 22 years since Sixth Sense became a smash, Shyamalan has largely stayed with his MO: thrillers that come with surprises at the end. A couple exceptions to that rule exist, but Shyamalan seems reluctant to depart from that formula.

This would appear to be a problem, since it leads the audience to always wait for the inevitable curveball. In the case of Old, however, it doesn’t become an issue because the story point in question makes sense within the story’s framework and doesn’t come out of left field like some other Shyamalan twists.

Of course, I won’t reveal any spoilers, but suffice it to say that the ending deals with the nature of this bizarre beach and the motivations of those at the resort. The film makes it clear early that the manager and his minions know that the guests will age rapidly if left in this location, so the big question becomes why they deposit people there.

Whatever flaws Old may suffer – and it comes with some – Shyamalan does create a fairly fast-paced flick that keeps us with it. While I find it hard to point to anything about the film that seems especially strong, I also don’t find enormous weaknesses, as it moves well and manages to maintain our attention.

Of course, Old can go melodramatic and/or silly at times, and the characters never become especially compelling. I find the depiction of a psychologist most annoying since Shyamalan forces her to constantly want everyone to discuss how they feel about events, no matter how ridiculous this becomes. Dude, no psychologist confronted with this bizarre circumstance would feel the need to engage in group therapy!

The Cappas get the most exposition, of course, but they still fail to develop much. Old sticks Guy and Prisca as near divorce and unhappy, but it doesn’t elevate their circumstances above the level of cliché.

That said, a movie like Old can survive without deep characters. Better-depicted participants would be nice, but they’re not crucial.

Old loses points due to what appears to be inconsistency in terms of how its rules apply. Perhaps Shyamalan worked out the math correctly and everyone ages at exactly the same rate, but it sure doesn’t feel that way.

Instead, it comes across that some characters get old much more quickly than others, a factor exacerbated by confusing makeup for the adults. For instance, one minute Guy will look like he’s 65, and then the next he’ll seem to be 50.

This impacts all the roles and it creates an unnecessary distraction. If we spend time with thoughts about character ages and makeup, we lose track of the story.

Shyamalan also ladles out too much obvious foreshadowing. The first act comes packed with eye-rolling references to hint at events yet to come, and these seem silly and annoying.

This means multiple references to age and time. Add some clumsy exposition and the story can feel clunky.

Still, Old manages to offer a decent little thriller for the most part. Though it sputters a little too often to turn into anything especially good, it delivers a fairly brisk and entertaining piece of work.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Old appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered pleasing visuals.

Sharpness worked fine. Some low-light shots could come across as a little soft, but most of the movie offered nice delineation.

I saw no shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes failed to appear. As for source flaws, the image lacked specks, marks or other issues.

Colors appeared fine for the desired palette. Despite the tropical setting, the film opted for the usual orange and teal. Within stylistic choices, these worked well, though I would’ve preferred some more vivid tones.

Blacks looked dark and deep, and shadows were smooth. The image was good enough for a “B+“.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt positive about the pretty good Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Old. Given the nature of the story, environmental information dominated the mix.

These elements filled out the speakers in a fairly involving manner. The movie didn’t become a constant whiz-bang soundfield, but it created a decent sense of place, with some nice localized dialogue along for the ride.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise. Effects depicted the elements with acceptable accuracy and boasted pleasing low-end when necessary.

Music showed positive clarity and range, and they also packed solid bass response at times. This was a perfectly positive mix for the material.

10 Deleted Scenes span a total of eight minutes, 16 seconds. Given the math, you can tell we get short snippets here.

“Cold Open” offers an alternate start to the film, one that telegraphs the ensuring terror. The movie works better without it.

As for the rest, they lean toward minor expository bits and slivers of character expansion. None of them offer significant material.

Four featurettes follow, and Shyamalan Family Business runs eight minutes, five seconds. It brings notes from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan, singer/songwriter Saleka Night Shyamalan and 2nd unit director Ishana Night Shyamalan.

We hear a little about M. Night’s family and his daughters’ work on the film. It feels pretty fluffy, though a handful of insights emerge.

All the Beach Is a Stage goes for nine minutes, 37 seconds and features M. Night Shyamalan, Ishana Night Shyamalan,and actors Gael Garcia Bernal, Abbey Lee, Kathleen Chalfant, Emun Elliott, Embeth Davidtz, Thomasin McKenzie, Rufus Sewell and Alex Wolff.

“Stage” discusses performances, photography and M. Night’s approach to the material. Like the prior featurette, this one mixes useful information with praise/hyperbole.

With Nightmares In Paradise, we get a seven-minute, 27-second reel that includes remarks from M. Night Shyamalan, Ishama Night Shyamalan, producer Marc Bienstock and production designer Naaman Marshall.

“Paradise” covers the sets and their use in the film as well as various challenges. Though self-congratulatory, some good notes appear.

Finally, A Family In the Moment occupies six minutes, 18 seconds with info from M. Night Shyamalan, McKenzie, Wolff, Bernal, Saleka Night Shyamalan, and actor Vicky Krieps.

“Moment” views the relationships among the actors who play the Cappa clan. Expect more fluff.

The disc opens with ads for Candyman, The Forever Purge, and Stillwater. No trailer for Old appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Old. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

If fans expect anything out of the usual M. Night Shyamalan playbook from Old, they will not find it. That said, the movie offers a mostly intriguing thriller, even if it comes with too many inconsistencies and some awkward narrative elements. The Blu-ray brings good picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. Nothing here excels but the movie still satisfies for the most part.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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