We all saw the trailer for Old that premiered during the Super Bowl earlier this year (even though that already feels like years ago). With a cast starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Eliza Scanlen, Ken Leung, and Nikki Amuka-Bird, along with an instantly interesting premise, people (myself included) were excited to see what M. Night Shyamalan had up his sleeve for us this time.
The synopsis alone can be summarized in just a sentence, but that in itself is intriguing: A 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.
I had a tremendous amount of fun with this, but I recommend that you go into it with the right headspace. It rides a very fine line between very serious insanity and goofy silliness, and you have to be prepared for it to be right up the middle of the two. No jump scares or absolutely hilarious scenes, just right down the middle.
Technically speaking, this had some pretty extreme close-ups, like, some of the most I’ve ever seen in a film. It also had a pretty chilling score that had me gripping onto my seat.
There are clunky moments that I found myself laughing at that weren’t necessarily meant to be funny. I was laughing at the insanity of it all. Unsettling might be a better term. Bizarre, maybe? You won’t be bored.
Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Eliza Scanlen, Ken Leung, and Nikki Amuka-Bird all have the chance to showcase their talent here. It’s a good sign when you can immediately think of memorable scenes from every actor.
There were creepy moments but nothing objectively terrifying. It is a “thriller” after all, so you shouldn’t be expecting gore. Go in expecting psychological mind games at play. It’s enjoyable chaos with a sometimes tiff script that doesn’t leave room for much emotion. I don’t expect this to be in the running for any Oscars or show up on a ton of year-end lists, but it was an enjoyable ride while I was on it, and sometimes that is more than enough.
I’m sure you’ve seen movies that show characters aging rapidly or conversely aging backwards, but there’s nothing quite like Old out there.
“Remain” by Saleka
M. Night Shyamalan called on his daughter Saleka to contribute a song to the soundtrack for his film, Old. One of the songs he played her to give her inspiration on what to write was U2’s “With or Without You.” He wanted a song about love, and she gave him a truly haunting ballad. The song is used a couple of different times in the film, and it also plays during the end credits. The character Maddox sings it while she’s young (played by Alexa Swinton) on the way to the beach and again when she’s older (played by Thomasin McKenzie). The way it is repeated gives a very full circle feeling and doesn’t feel in any way repetitive given its context.
“To Reo Iti Maru” by Mila
This song can be heard playing in the background, and Mila released “Teo Reo Its Maru” in 2010 on the album, Tahiti Belle Epoque 2: Mila Et Loma.
“Kirahu E” by Mila
Also from Mila, the song “Kirahu E” is heard playing in the background in a scene right after the other one featuring another of their songs.
“More Dough for the Cookin’” by Aaron Pierre ft. Dan Stone
While the two young boys are talking and standing in the edge of the water, we hear a rap song playing. It’s being performed by actor Aaron Pierre, who plays a popular rapper known as Mid-Sized Sedan in Old. I thought it was interesting that the music department actually had Pierre record a rap song for the movie.
“Farara Matai” by Mila
Mila’s songs are all over the soundtrack for Old, with this one playing while the characters are seen eating. ““Farara Matai” appears on the same Mila album as the other songs in this film, Tahiti Belle Epoque 2: Mila Et Loma.
“Vahine Oe No Tahiti” by APM Music
Authentic Polynesian Music’s “Wahine Oe No Tahiti” can be heard, and interestingly enough, it was also featured in 2016’s Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.
“Orama” by Takiti Ma
Another song heard in the background is Takiti Ma’s “Orama,” which appears on the album, Takiti Ma: Tahiti Instrumental Ukulele Guitar & Co.
“Motu Uta” by Helkura
This song appears on Clint Mariteragi’s 2009 album, Tamari’l No Tahiti.
“Tapuai Manu” by Lilane
Lilane’s song, “Tapuai”, appears on the album, Vahine Chantesuses De Tahiti, which was released in 2010.
Old is now playing in theaters.