Old: The New Film by Gael García that Ventures into Philosophical Horror

The prestigious director of the Unbreakable trilogy returns with a suspense film with a tone as disturbing as it is fascinating.

Frame from the film 'Old'

Inspired by the graphic novel Sandcastle, which touches on a theme that is common in all his works, although never so explicitly addressed: sadness. Photo: YT-Universal Pictures

LatiAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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To speak of M. Night Shyamalan is to refer to one of the best directors of recent years . Popularly known for the trilogy of Unbreakable (which includes Split and Glass) or The Sixth Sense , most of his films, which address the genre of suspense, have an enviable pace.

Inspired by the graphic novel Sandcastle, by Frederik Peeters and Pierre Oscar Lévy , Old is a film starring Gael García Bernal, Thomasin Mckenzie, Elisa Scanlen and Alex Wolff , among others, where a theme that is common in all its works is present: sadness.


The director becomes more existential than ever and wonders about the passage of time to the point that the film manages to impact viewers with a philosophical horror that makes us reflect on loneliness and sadness.

Old from Shyamalan

This is a family that is on vacation on a paradisiacal beach, but begins to perceive that there are temporary alterations. Therefore, an interesting first contrast to the filmmaker's work emerges here. In other words, what should be a relaxation trip quickly turns into a paranormal experience.

The story is based on Sandcastle's graphic novel, several men and women who get stranded on a remote beach causing them to age quickly . It is important to say that it is based on the novel, but that does not mean that the original script is respected. On the contrary, it is only a slight inspiration.

In a sense, viewers will find certain similarities to the iconic Lost series , especially in its early seasons. This occurs because the characters, stranded on a mysterious island, not only wondered about the enigmas of the place, but also that much emphasis was placed on the past of each of them.

However, Old seeks to quickly differentiate itself from all these works. With a much more fanciful style, the director's traces are absolutely present to the point of presenting characters who face supernatural situations without any explanation.

The assembly work is exquisite since all the temporary jumps are perfectly constructed and no contradiction is generated in relation to them . Even, in a sense, it could be said that the editing and setting itself make it look like a “class B” movie, something that suits it well to achieve its own tone.

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Shyamalan tries to side with the spectators to answer all the questions that would be asked in the same situation. What is happening on the island? Why it happens? Is there a way out of there? Why does this happen to our protagonists? To the calm of all, the answers are answered satisfactorily.

In its 109 minutes, the film generates all kinds of surprises and revelations . However, one of the keys seems to be that the protagonists go through existential fears about the passage of time. With a completely solid script, we managed to feel empathy for the characters (despite how unreal that situation would be) and we asked ourselves about the meaning of our own lives.

This situation causes Old to become a unique film from its own tone and genre, since it does not seek to be a horror film, but its own philosophical and fantasy conception makes us reflect on our own humanity . Something that, as we imagine, always makes us think about death and all the fears that it entails.

It's perfect for people who love crazy situations and puzzles with answers. Do not miss it!

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