Film review: “Old” is just that, old hat…

Take a bit of Westworld (the Yul Brinner movie, not the TV show). Take a bit of the forgotten 1996 medical thriller Extreme Measures (Gene Hackman, Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker). Take a bit of an even-more forgotten schlock novel from the 1970s called “The Glow” and a few other old off-cuts. There, you’ve got the latest starts-kinda-okay-and-just-steadily-goes-downhill film from M. Night Shyalaman, whose name is back on movie posters as an inducement rather than a warning, for reasons which kinda escape me.

There’s probably spoilers in that first paragraph, but, yeah, so what.

This extremely oddly-paced and intermittently acted curiosity has the beginnings of some okay ideas, but doesn’t go to any of the interesting places that it could. Meanwhile, the racial politics are, well, interesting, and the gender politics are in keeping with the rules in those 1970s/80s slasher films, where only the girl who hasn’t had sex and isn’t obsessed with her looks is deemed good enough to survive (the whole “final girl” thing). To be clear, I am not judging this film on wokeness. Many great films are not woke and so what, and many very woke films are dreadful.

The punches are telegraphed, and when the director reckons you haven’t seen the signposts, he takes them out of the ground and batters you about the head with them until you surrender.

No no no.

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