Old (2021, M. Night Shyamalan)

Writer M. Night doing good work with the premise, not so good with the dialogue and details – and Director M. Night just going to town with the photography. Love the roving wide-angle long takes especially, but the whole thing looks ravishing. DP Michael Gioulakis also shot Us and It Follows and Under the Silver Lake, and is currently one of my favorite people.

AKA Old Beach: The Beach That Makes People Old, but most of them die one-by-one from various misfortunes, only Gael and Vicky make it to cute-elderly status. Dr. Rufus Sewell goes mad, or was mad from the start, and stabs Underground Railroad star Aaron Pierre before Vicky gives him fast-action blood poisoning. Sewell’s wife Abbey Lee (one of the Fury Road wives) has brittle bones and dies in agony chasing the kids through a cave. Ken Leung (cop in Saw) simply drowns trying to escape. Nikki Amuka-Bird (Jupiter Ascending) has fatal seizures, funny since the mad scientists studying curative drugs in unwilling time-accelerated test subjects call her case a success. The kids are more complicated since they’re played by multiple actors, but most notably by siblings Alex “Hereditary” Wolff and Thomasin “Soho” McKenzie, and as Alex’s short-lived girlfriend: Beth March of Little Women.

Adam Nayman sums up my pleasure in talking about a different film: “The fun of Malignant is watching Wan apply such sophisticated technique to ridiculously dumb material.” Also wrote down a line from Social Hygiene the next night: “Stupid and useless things are often the most beautiful.” Great movie.