davidehrlich’s review published on Letterboxd:
Life is quite literally a beach in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Old,” a go-for-broke “Twilight Zone” riff about a family who find themselves trapped in a sandy enclave where time passes so fast that a six-year-old in the morning will go through puberty by lunch, and a grandmother in the first act has almost no chance of being around for the third. Borrowed from the 2010 graphic novel “Sandcastle” by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters, it’s the sort of unsettling idea that can trigger a wave of existential anxieties (and/or parental ones, which are often the same thing) just by thinking about it.
And yet Shyamalan’s very silly new movie — his best since “The Village,” but still a pale imitation of the slow-burn psychological thrillers that once earned him modern history’s most iconic Newsweek cover — isn’t nearly as fraught-provoking as its nature would suggest. Rather than allow this story to unfold at the real-time pace that its premise demands, Shyamalan opts instead for a hurried (if impressively perverse) series of cheap thrills that emphasize the body horror of aging over the more profound terror of feeling the years pass by.
The result is a silly, well-acted piece of schlock that offers a decent time at the movies instead of the awful one that it promised us. And while there’s obviously some fun to be had in a film where “The Neon Demon” star Abbey Lee plays a trophy wife who goes full “Kuroneko” (complete with a billowing hooded kimono) on a bunch of teens because she gets a few wrinkles, Shyamalan’s latest — like virtually everyone in it — gets old fast.