For years, director M Night Shyamalan has been trying to top his stellar breakthrough movie, The Sixth Sense, says Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. Now, finally, he’s done it. Old is brilliant. This bonkers horror follows an Agatha Christie-style ensemble cast who are stranded on a haunted beach. Here, time moves at an accelerated rate – half an hour equals one year. “Wounds heal at an extraordinary rate, crow’s feet appear on faces, the kids complain that their swimming costumes are increasingly tight and uncomfortable.” The longer they stay trapped, the quicker they die. It’s completely mad and seriously scary – “exactly suited to Shyamalan’s talent for a particular kind of audacious, ingenious hokum”.
As with all great scary films, there are grains of truth within the madness. What shocks our characters isn’t that their lifespans have been shortened to that of a mayfly. “It is that a great human truth has been revealed to them – they were always mayflies.” On the dreaded beach, they can see what they have ignored for so long: “mortality”.
But no more spoilers, says Jordan Hoffman in Vanity Fair. The joy of Shyamalan’s films is that they’re so strange and twisty – the less you know going in, the better. “So I’ll cut to the chase: Old is good. It’s very good. Now get out of here before it’s too late.”
Old is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer here.
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This Way Up
In the first series of This Way Up we met Aine, an Irish expat checking out of rehab, says Isobel Lewis in The Independent. She’d suffered, in her words, “a teeny little nervous breakdown”. Later we learnt that it involved a suicide attempt. Thankfully, in season two, things have improved. Aine’s happy now, her language students love her – “Wouldn’t you if your teacher used Love Island to teach English?” – and there’s a blossoming, “if somewhat ill-advised”, romance with her boss. “If in series one you’re in the war, then series two is peace,” said the show’s writer and star, Aisling Bea. “Whatever peace looks like.”
It looks like utter joy, says Lucy Mangan in The Guardian. Mental health and romance aside, at its heart the show is a love letter to sisters. And Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan’s chemistry as bickering siblings Aine and Shona is glorious. They feel like real people. “It is wonderful – indeed it feels almost a privilege – to watch.”
This Way Up is on Channel 4. Watch a trailer here.