Why M. Night Shyamalan movie reviews are so mixed

M. Night Shyamalan’s horror film Old, set on a rapidly aging beach, is dividing reviews. Here’s why the reviews are so mixed.

M. Night Shyamalan’s new horror film Old divides the critics. Some critics praised its quirky weirdness and intriguing storyline, while others were put off by the weird dialogue and struggled to get into the characters.

After the resounding success of his third feature film, The sixth sense, Shyamalan’s career as a filmmaker has been full of ups, downs, twists and turns. After a series of critical and box office flops that included The last air Master and After Earth, Shyamalan started self-financing his films and made his comeback with a found-picture thriller Visit. It scored yet another victory with the widely-criticized horror film Split, which grossed $ 278 million worldwide, far exceeding its production budget of $ 9 million.

Related: Old Shows Why M. Night Shyamalan Movies Matter (Even If They’re Bad)

Old has a strong history: A family staying at a luxury resort takes a day trip to a hidden beach on the other side of the island, along with a group of other guests. After finding a dead body in the water, they realize that something on the beach is causing extremely accelerated aging. With seemingly no way out of the beach and a clock ticking quickly over their remaining lifespan, the family must find a way to escape before they die of old age. Old has been compared both favorably and unfavorably to the weirdness and awkwardness of Shyamalan’s 2008 film The event, and received both rave reviews and one-star takedowns. At the time of writing, it holds an almost perfectly equal score of 52% on Rotten tomatoes. Here’s what some of Old’s negative reviews have said about the movie.


“What shocked me is the finesse with which Shyamalan develops characters and the awkwardness with which he deals with powerful themes about sudden death and the collapse of time that are expected to resonate powerfully in the COVID-19 era. Even his argument for family values ​​in the face of global youth worship is felt by heart. “

the Wall Street newspaper:

“For many reasons, none of them are good, Old is in a class of its own. M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller-slasher-sci-fi-creep-out is incomparably clumsy, stupid and awkward. alarmed. It is also alarming for his ineptitude … [The cast] would be a big draw in other circumstances, but the evil power of the beach extends to turning excellent actors into wooden performers. “

Standard Evening:

“What’s extraordinary is how silly dialogue infects the talented cast. [Gael García] Bernal, [Vicky] Krieps, [Rufus] Sewell; we know these people can take action. But, for whole sections of the movie, they frown and wave their arms like am-dram rubes … Shyamalan’s movie wants us to live in the moment. Too many moments in this movie are stupid. “


“The edit is uneven, which makes you wonder if there was originally a much longer cut that was cropped during post-production. Character development is largely inefficient with most people acting in weird and irrational ways to satisfy the needs of the plot … Plot holes abound, many of which don’t require post-screening thinking to be identified. The movie doesn’t make much sense and it doesn’t it doesn’t help that the dialogue is poorly written and awkwardly delivered. “

Even some of the positive reviews of Old Broadly agree that the dialogue is weird and awkward, which in turn hampers some of the actors’ performances. (although Alex Wolff’s portrayal of a six-year-old boy in the body of an adult has been hailed as a highlight). Unlike the source material on which the film is based, a graphic novel called Sand castle, Old offers an explanation of why the beach ages people and arguably falls into the trap of over-explaining the mechanics of time at work. Nonetheless, many critics were charmed by Oldchaotic weirdness of and felt that, overall, its positives outweighed the negatives. Here is a selection of quotes from Oldmore favorable reviews.

Vanity Show:

“Old is good. This is very good … Shyamalan reveals new information in the right doses, reminding himself all the time that it is basically a B image. isn’t bloody, but it’s disgusting, and the camera knows everything it’s showing to keep us in touch. “


M. Night Shyamalan’s Old, which tackles the distinct horrors of aging, ends up being a fascinating entry into the director’s uneven career. It may not be his greatest work, but it is one that uses an intriguing premise to address deep ideas. “

New Yorker:

“Shyamalan has created a splendid flashback to a sci-fi thriller that develops a simple idea with austere vigor and conveys the direct joy of realizing the simple logic of its alluring nonsense.”


“Yes, Old has a lot of awkward dialogue that defines Shyamalan’s work… It’s probably 10 minutes too long, with an ending that works too hard to expose the silly reasoning behind the beach’s supernatural properties. Old’s central vanity has so much juice, and Shyamalan has the opportunity to explore so many fun, even sadistic, avenues over the course of a very long day. “

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