Old

Old ★★★★½

85

M. Night Shyamalan's formal elegance is basically unmatched here. No one is doing it like this. Shot to shot, this is a joy to watch. Truly intelligent filmmaking. Shyamalan and DP Mike Gioulakis put some serious work into the language. Zooming in and out in the middle of a rapidly spinning dolly shot is just the tip of the iceberg. What an efficient screenplay, too. Condensing time into one 24 hour period, yet still allowing for a gradual escalation of stakes and information within the genre trappings of a thriller, all while laying the groundwork for an overtly sentimental examination of life's impermanence. The existential dread really sneaks up on you. All of the typical Shyamalan motifs are here, from mentions of Philly to his director cameo to the tortured family dynamics etc. You won't mistake Old with the work of anyone else, and that's a beautiful thing.

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