With some Super Bowl movie trailers, you might argue that 30 seconds is really only enough time to give the vaguest suggestion of what you might see in the finished film. And then on the other hand, there’s Old, the latest from M. Night Shyamalan, in which 30 seconds feels like you’ve seen pretty much the entire film. That’s largely because Old feels very much like the high-concept Shyamalan of old, something you can boil down to a single short sentence: A family is trapped on a beach where human beings seem to age supernaturally fast. And then, you know … horror or thrills or comedy ensue. It’s sort of hard to tell.
Old, which is described as a “psychological thriller,” is loosely adapted from the French graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, with a premise that would have fit in perfectly as a half hour episode of The Twilight Zone. The slightly more detailed official synopsis is as follows:
“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.”
One thing the film does have going for it is an impressive ensemble cast, blending actors of various backgrounds and generations. It’s anchored by the likes of Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps and Rufus Sewell, but also includes newcomers such as Hereditary’s Alex Wolff and JoJo Rabbit’s Thomasin McKenzie. That’s pretty much all we know of Old for now, except for the fact that we’ll probably get to watch someone crumble to dust like Donovan at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Old currently has a July 23, 2021 release date from Universal. No telling if it will hold that date and perhaps do a brisk summer movie business, or whether the lingering effects of the pandemic will eventually push it to a digital release. Regardless, check out the first footage below.