Cresting onto the summer season like the sun on our face and waves at our feet, M. Night Shyamalan brings us the kind of high concept schlock that has been missing since the post-pandemic return to theatres has offered little big scale entertainments outside of franchises. This oasis of scary silliness is Old, a beach-set ensemble piece where nothing is at first what it seems—even the telltale warning signs of some of the director’s worst habits. Adapted from Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederick Peeters’ graphic novel Sandcastle, the film first appears like another Shyamalan bomb on the level of The Happening’s groaningly stilted dialogue and lack of trust in the audience’s intelligence to surmise what’s going on as we watch it. However, Shyamalan quickly finds a stride that results in an all-together fun and touching dose of genre storytelling.Continue reading “In Review: Old”
Twist meister M. Night Shyamalan is back in popular favor after a long string of disasters (and the modest success of The Visit) with multiple personality thriller Split. But the return to form is a somewhat measured success – miles from the gobsmacking stupidity of his greatest follies but still a far cry from his strongest, most beloved works. M. Night still just doesn’t understand how people think and sound, or how that basis in reality enhances his chilling moments. The more outlandish elements of Split are more believable than the necessary, the simplest dialogue or minor details archly silly. He’d do better to just listen to everyday conversations for his next film instead of thinking up new shockeroos – remember how understated and real the final car scene in The Sixth Sense was?