‘Old’ Early Buzz: The Next ‘Happening’ or Shyamalan’s Best Since ‘Unbreakable,’ Depending on Who You Ask
Love ’em or hate ’em, people keep showing up for M. Night Shyamalan movies without ever quite knowing which side of the fence they’ll land on. There’s something refreshing and undeniably exciting about a major Indian-born filmmaker — one who also happens to be a brand name and a consistent draw among general audiences — continuing to produce original and high concept films, especially in a marketplace that’s increasingly hostile to such projects.
His latest horror film, Old, opens this week and early reactions are…well, more or less what you’d expect from latter-day Shyamalan. Keep scrolling to find out what to expect from Old.
Old Early Reactions
/Film’s own Chris Evangelista compares the film to a rather infamous Shyamalan entry, but otherwise leaves you to make your own judgments.
Oh we can talk about OLD? Ok. It’s M. Night back in full-blown THE HAPPENING mode. Whether or not that’s a good thing will be up to you. pic.twitter.com/ftU50r9hoc
— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) July 20, 2021
But that’s not to say there aren’t some positively glowing reactions out there, too. Mileage tends to vary when it comes to Shyamalan, but it certainly seems like there’s plenty for fans to love.
Time to tell you about @MNightShyamalan’s Old.
Old is the best movie Night has made since Unbreakable. It’s an intense, unrelenting thriller made with sadistic glee and surprising emotion. It’s hard to watch & I loved every second of it. Full review & interview later this week. pic.twitter.com/HOV9A1gQwg
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) July 20, 2021
Overall, the rest of the reactions range from mixed praise to outright befuddlement. For those who love deeply subjective takes (and maybe a little bit of chaos, too), this may be the movie for you.
M. Night Shyamalan gets so creative with OLD. His camera work is exhilarating, with some of the most bold and aggressive filmmaking techniques I’ve seen from him. The visuals are a little stronger than the story, but damn, Thomasin McKenzie continues to amaze. pic.twitter.com/ZhIlzpmFUj
— Sean O’Connell (@Sean_OConnell) July 20, 2021
When #OldMovie gets going, it flies like a bat out of hell. While the film gets off to a slow, clunky start, it eventually becomes a body horror that somehow successfully meshes with emotional family drama. Absolute summer fun from M. Night Shyamalan. pic.twitter.com/vl4XWKSvk4
— Mike Reyes (@MrControversy83) July 20, 2021
Old is Shyamalan’s most elegantly directed movie since Signs. Also fucking horrifying. And boy, my fellow Shyamalan auteurists are gonna have a FIELD DAY with that ending.
— Carol Grant (@carolaverygrant) July 20, 2021
So #OldMovie is certainly a movie that exists. I saw it quite a while ago, and I’m still unsure how I feel about it. M.Night usually swings for the fences, and he usually either nails it or whiffs so hard he breaks his own nose. #Old is neither; it’s just fine, which is a shame. pic.twitter.com/PClPyymOcB
— K?????i?????l??y???n??? ????????????? (@katiesmovies) July 20, 2021
After breaking onto the scene in a big way with the one-two punch of The Sixth Sense and the original superhero movie Unbreakable, it seemed like Shyamalan was destined for rarified filmmaking territory. Although I’ll happily defend Signs, The Village, and even some of Lady in the Water, the filmmaker’s reputation suffered quite a hit with the latter two films as well as The Last Airbender and After Earth. But ever since then, Shyamalan has impressively returned to a just-the-basics approach and built himself back as a force to be reckoned with. The rest of us will soon find out if Old continues that trajectory or serves as somewhat of a speed bump.
Shyamalan both directed and wrote Old, loosely based on a 2010 French graphic novel titled Sandcastle by authors Pierre-Oscar Lévy and Frederick Peeters. The film stars Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Ken Leung, and more among its ensemble cast. Old releases in theaters on July 23, 2021.
This summer, visionary filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan unveils a chilling, mysterious new thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly…reducing their entire lives into a single day.
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