You’re sitting at home. Alone. You mean to unwind with a little bit of Youtube and a much deserved snack. A trailer comes on. Usually you don’t take time to watch the full trailer once the “Skip Ad” button arises, but the music and the ambiance have caught your attention.
Ominous warnings intercut with the laughter of children. Mysterious items buried in the beach sand. Splashing, merriment and then a body in the water.
You don’t know what this is but you’re hooked. You’re in. The music builds. M. Knight Shyamalan’s name comes up on the screen. And then the name of the movie drops; Old.
He had you. For a moment, he really had you. Now, the chill of excitement is replaced with all an out glee as you contemplate what a terrible film this is going to be. And the trailer just keeps going, getting worse and worse along the way.
If this scenario is at all relatable to you; you need to go watch Old. Drop whatever you’re doing and go watch it. In theaters. Right now.
I know I’m speaking to a very small pool of horror fans right now. Anyone who laughed out loud during Devil or has ever re-watched The Happening. Most horror fans are just disappointed that there was never a Shyamalan movie as good as The Sixth Sense. But I’m calling out to those of you who don’t care if a movie is good; so long as it’s entertaining.
Like The Happening, Old has a point buried in there somewhere under all the terrible execution. It missed the mark in telling the story that it wanted to tell. Through clumsy foreshadowing, a lack of subtlety, and painful dialogue, the movie unfolds into everything you’d expect from the trailer. And worse.
I would really, REALLY, love to just tear this movie apart piece by piece because I think it would be fun and it deserves to be shredded. But I have to do this spoiler-free recommendation first and foremost, because the trailer already gives too much away about this spectacular piece of nonsense.
If it did one thing well, it was get me interested in the graphic novel on which it was based. It’s hard to talk about the few very interesting concepts that the movie touched on without giving spoilers, but they existed. They just were overshadowed by the much more prominent failures. Again, I have to point out that the dialogue in this movie was atrocious.
Another staple of Shyamalan’s movies; it took itself far too seriously. Had it loosened up some, it might have been in on the joke. Had it been better executed it could have touched on some really poignant themes. As it is, and to no one’s surprise, it lands right in the middle where it can masquerade as deep without fooling anyone.
If you thought the trailer looked stupid; you’re right. But if you laughed out loud at it, I can’t express how much fun you’ll have seeing it in theater.