This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
abid_ism’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
i love when a movie with a fun and dumb little premise that reveals its characters inner motives and troubles also operates on a more meta scale and reveals critics & less so fans hypocrisies in how they judge and evaluate directing on a larger scale.
i've seen seen criticism here about the dialogue, how m night directs actors, and how unnatural it is and how people don't communicate this way. and yet i can't think of a moment in fiction this year that's as affecting as the sequence of the two teens growing and adjusting to their raging hormones in the tent transitioning to the death of the baby. there's a tenderness to the tent scene that m. night earns through his directing, but the dialogue not only works but ties a scene together that is both there to show rapid passage of time & no passage of time at all. rip to the little one.
and most of the reviews center on m night.'s ideas and his execution of those ideas moreso on a plot level versus form, which is where Old really shines. Old is formally great! maybe the most formally interesting blockbuster since jupiter ascending? or something from spielberg? the camera is so alive throughout, the way it weaves and circles around the beach to create dread, confusing and most importantly, the passage of time. or when we see Rufus' character approaching Vicky and Gael at night by the bonfire with Gael's limited vision. everything is so dark and space-like. this scene is followed soon with a scene of the kids in the cave where abby lee is approaching in the exact opposite setting, cramped and claustrophobic.
i also want to shout out the framing in the more somber scenes like aforementioned tent scene or when the family of 4 is sitting at night by the campfire and vicky krieps walk to the water and eventually fall.
anyway... Old is fun as hell and hits the right emotional notes. it does what it seeks out to do on a technical and emotional level. what more could you really ask for in a movie like this.