Vacations are usually a time for families to take a break from the daily routine, reconnect, and enjoy themselves. Of course none of that is in Old, the new movie of M. Night Shyamalan, who became known more than two decades ago thanks to The sixth Sense and he’s one of those directors who often use a suspenseful story as an excuse to talk about other topics.
The vacation of a group of ordinary people that ends in a nightmare is a well-known resource used in films such as The beach (Danny Boyle, 2000), U.S (Jordan Peele, 2019) o The fantasy island (Jeff Wadlow, 2020). Aunque Old gives it a twist and does not need dealers, stuntmen or ghosts. There are only the travelers and the sea.
Viejos begins with a family heading for a vacation in a resort that has many luxuries and beautiful beaches. Although this may be the last family trip, as the mother, Prisca (Vicky Krieps) have a tumor; and like your health, and the marriage is in shambles. The family is completed by her husband Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal) and his sons Trent and Maddox. “Amazing that I found this on the Internet,” Prisca tells her husband as they are greeted with welcome drinks and escorted to their luxurious rooms.
When the resort manager tells them about a secluded beach where they can avoid tourists (“A once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he tells them), and they agree, they are taken by Shyamalan himself who often makes appearances in his movies. .
They do not go alone. They are accompanied by a doctor in his fifties, Charles (Rufus Sewell), his trophy wife Chrystal (Abbey Lee), their mother Agnes (Kathleen Chalfant) and their little daughter Kara. Also a third couple, nurse Jarin (Ken Leung) and therapist Patricia (Nikki Amuka-Bird). Although upon arrival, the travelers meet a mysterious man who ends up being a rapper named Mid-Sized Sedan (Aaron Pierre), who does not speak much and has a nosebleed that does not seem to stop.
Since your arrival, the beauty of this beach, surrounded by a steep stone that forms a wall and acts as an isolation from the outside world, feels threatening. And that rock wall seems to get taller as the day goes on. And suddenly, things start to go wrong when the corpse of a young woman appears, floating in the water.
The first attempt is to escape from the place, returning by the path that led them there. But it does not work, as soon as they enter the rocky area they faint and when they wake up, they are again on the beach that little by little is becoming a prison from which they cannot escape. Since then, things get weirder and weirder. From one moment to the next Trent, Kara and Maddox are older, as if they had skipped five years, in a few hours.
And the time will come for adults to understand that time passes differently on that beach, where an hour leaves the marks of a few years. And as children become adults, adults begin to face physical exhaustion: vision problems, hearing, dementia; and Prisca’s tumor keeps getting bigger.
This premise seems to come from an episode of The Twilight Zone O The fantasy island, while the characters are like an ensemble chosen by Agatha Christie for one of her stories, with its secrets and internal conflicts. Although Old it doesn’t feel or look like a traditional mystery story. This is because the director does not try to show the reason for what is happening, but to leave testimony of that physical degradation, turning the film into a horror film with surrealistic torques, rather than a suspenseful one that requires explanations, which will come. , but later.
That feeling of confinement in the middle of a deserted beach is achieved thanks to the good use of photography, by Mike Gioulakis who has worked on the last Shyamalan titles and here he plays with the camera, showing part of a character’s head before revealing that it is another actor in that role; or walk the beach from one side as if trying to catch up with everything that is happening in that place.
In addition to photography, there is a good use of visual effects (a pregnancy that we see developing in front of our eyes or instant scars), and a great use of makeup that makes the middle-aged cast look like old men.
All this results in a visually vibrant film, the rhythm of which accelerates as the minutes pass, as if entering a spiral of dementia. Unfortunately the script is not as fluid as the images are, especially when trying to give explanations that connect what happens to the characters with that mysterious place.
And if you are looking for one of those Shyamalan movies, where the viewer leaves the cinema continuing the story to find the hidden subject (as in The village It was the fear of the outside world; on The end of the ages, caring for the environment), you will be somewhat disappointed.
Undoubtedly it is a material that in the hands of a director like David Cronenberg would have been something else. More grotesque and twisted, yes, but that would allow us to talk about other issues, such as what it means to become old. Something that Shyamalan prefers not to meddle with here.
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How is “Viejos”, the new thriller from the director of “Sixth sense”? – Tvshow – 09/10/2021