Like all of the previous films in his career, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s Old has been a pretty mysterious prospect, with all of its plot details kept tightly under wraps. The enigmatic storyteller's latest project was filmed in the midst of last year’s unprecedented events, in pure Shyamalanian style, with nary a peep escaping regarding the story. But tonight we got our first look at this prospective 2021 release thanks to the Super Bowl, and now there are so many questions that need answering, and fast.
Old starts like most M. Night Shyamalan thrillers do, with absolutely nothing for our characters to worry about. Of course, it isn’t long before Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps’ trip to the beach turns into a hellish nightmare, as their children seemingly age several years after only a mere amount of hours out of their sight. And it looks like by time Old has had its way with its entire cast of characters, this beach vacation will age everyone on those seemingly tranquil shores.
Aging isn’t the only human concept that gets to become a scary occurrence in this first trailer. No, there’s everything from spontaneous pregnancy, a cave of dangerous looking sea growths, and the hint that whatever this scenario entails, it’s being controlled by a presence beyond our comprehension. Yeah, that’s definitely an M. Night Shyamalan movie, and all of these questions and quirks are going to have us pondering just what Old is going to show us upon its release into theaters.
Which brings yet another question into frame, as Universal was very keen on putting the words “only in theaters” into that ad for Old. With a planned debut for “this summer,” and the studio engaging in a hybrid model that sees movies head to PVOD rental as early as 17 days after release, could this be one of the first movies to break the $50 million threshold that will see that window expand? Looking at how films like The Visit, Split, and Glass have crushed it at the box office, and with the potential for movie theaters to be open to greater capacity by time the summer rolls around, that just might be what happens.
Even a detour into the world of box office business still isn’t enough to quell the creepy mystery that Old has just teased out, and there’s plenty of time to think them all out. Though a couple hundred more views of that trailer might just provide more questions than answers, which upholds that M. Night Shyamalan standard of puzzling cinematic wonders. As it stands, Old is scheduled to open in theaters on July 23, but it’d be quite scary to put any sort of certainty on that date at this moment.