I think Rod Serling would have liked “Old.”
M. Night Shyamalan’s latest is a sort of elongated “Twilight Zone” episode that will appeal to fans of the classic television series Serling hosted. Viewers also will, justifiably, compare it to the series “Lost.”
Vicky Krieps and Gael García Bernal play a married couple who take their family to a tropical spot for a vacation in the hope they will reconnect.
When a mysterious host invites the family and a few others for a day getaway, where they are hastily dropped off by a transport driver (Shyamalan himself in a nice cameo) they relax or explore until things begin to go terribly wrong.
When the couple’s son Trent (Nolan River) and daughter Maddox (Alexa Swinton) see another person in the area, Maddox realizes it’s a famous rapper called Mid-Sized Sedan.
Mid-Sized Sedan, who has a constantly bleeding nose, is under suspicion when a body turns up. After that, characters descend into madness, violence and fear while they age rapidly and try to figure out what is happening to them .. and how much time they have left.
Adults grow more wrinkled by the hour. A little girl becomes a young woman almost in the blink of an eye. A ghastly tumor is removed in front of the group.
And all the while the group continues to age and become more desperate to find answers.
There is, of course, a twist at the end, but it wouldn’t be fair to tell you about it. The finale, and a couple of sequences along the way, strain credibility in a plot that’s sometimes uneven but always interesting.
Based on the 2010 graphic novel “Sandcastle,” the movie’s themes of aging too rapidly will resound with older viewers, who have experienced sudden appearances of wrinkles, of gray hair, and print that seems smaller than it was the day before.
It’s not on par with Shyamalan’s best, but for his fans – and I’m one of them – it will be worth your time.
2 ½ stars
At Cinemark, Davenport; Palms 10, Muscatine; and Regal, Moline.
Rated: PG-13 for foul language and scenes of death and violence.
Running time: One hour and 48 minutes.