“Time” / Old
Genre Thriller, Horror
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal (Guy Kappa), Vicky Crips (Priska Kappa), Rufus Sewell (Charles), Thomasin McKenzie (Maddox), Alex Wolff (Trent), Ken Leung (Jarin), Eliza Scanlen (Kara), Abby Kershaw ( Crystal), etc.
Студии Universal Pictures, Blinding Edge Pictures, Perfect World Pictures
Release year 2021
The plot of the film “Time” is based on the graphic novel “Sand Castle” by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederic Peters. It was this material that inspired M. Night Shyamalan to place a group of strangers on a wild beach that becomes an anomalous trap with no way out. As expected, Shyamalan wrote the script for the project himself, so here comes the director’s trademark, who pays special attention to the third act.
“Time” is a thriller and, to some extent, even a corporal horror, which begins as an ordinary family melodrama. Spouses Guy and Priska come to an expensive resort, where the couple plans not only to relax, but also to announce important news to the children. While all family members are looking for activities for themselves, they are kindly offered to visit the picturesque beach – it is extremely well located in secluded isolation, so there are no outside tourists. The heroes go to the coast, where several more residents of the hotel are invited. Soon they will all discover that frightening events take place in this place, and time moves there at an inexplicable speed.
The main detail, from which all the events of the film will be based, was revealed in the trailer – the children who find themselves on the beach begin to grow up rapidly, and the adults inevitably grow old. From here conflicts and panic appear, secrets and features of strangers are revealed. The script plays on the common fear of the transience of life, turning aging into a terrible punishment from which many try unsuccessfully to escape. Behind all this is also the secret of the beach, where, judging by the remaining things, people have already disappeared before.
The basis of the plot is really interesting and new in its own way, if we take into account that not a single monster was involved in the intimidation. The main danger is only an accelerated natural process that takes away precious moments and causes weakness of the body, which over time is displayed on the mind of a person. So it can be scary even in the light of the sun’s rays warming the sandy shore.
Unfortunately, M. Night Shyamalan does not use the full potential of this topic. It focuses mainly on children, whose physical development is depicted in the film with the help of two or three actors of different ages. And the adults who find themselves on the beach do not change at all for a long time, which is significantly out of the general idea of the film. Maybe it’s because of the film’s low budget, but shooting an aging horror movie without bringing makeup experts on set or using CGI is, to say the least, very odd.
M. Night Shyamalan is also let down by the dialogues he wrote – they are so unnatural and detached in the film that sometimes you want to laugh, although none of the characters even thought of joking. There is no delicacy in the presentation of the characters here either, the director makes the prisoners of the beach recite their names, immediately adding their occupation to them. So the audience gets a general idea of the characters as soon as possible, but it all looks pretty ridiculous.
It’s a pity, because the cast of the film is not so bad – you could already see each of the actors somewhere. This is Gael Garcia Bernal from the series “Mozart in the Jungle” (Mozart in the Jungle), Vicki Crips from the drama “Phantom Thread” (Phantom Thread), Rufus Sewell from the action movie “President Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) , Thomasin Mackenzie from the tragicomedy “Jojo Rabbit” (Jojo Rabbit), Alex Wolff from the horror “Reincarnation” (Hereditary), Ken Leung from the series “Lost” (Lost), Eliza Scanlen from the mini-series “Sharp Objects» (Sharp Objects), Abby Kershaw from the psychological thriller The Neon Demon. By the way, M. Night Shyamalan also plays a small role in the film, appearing as a hotel employee.
Due to the lack of any signs of aging on the body of adult characters, as well as due to awkward lines, it is impossible to feel all the existential horror with which the beach is saturated. However, what is happening still arouses curiosity and the plot is addictive over time, and unexpected camera decisions return attention to the fatal situation.
“Time” also provides answers to almost all the riddles that appear during the development of the tragedy (but this does not apply to the nuances of aging – they, like makeup, are extremely ill-conceived here). The presence of explanations cannot but rejoice, because at the end of the film you want to see the completeness of the story. But whether the viewer will be satisfied with what M. Night Shyamalan came up with for the final is a completely different question.
Pros: a plot built around the transience of time; cast from well-known projects; there are answers to key questions Cons: representation of characters; awkward dialogues and situations; adult characters do not change for a long time Conclusion:
“Time” is a horror movie in which people can grow old in a few hours. The film is shot very strangely and in many ways ill-conceived, but its story is addictive.