By Matt Pascarella
1 hour, 48 minutes
As a fan of horror movies, this has been on my “to watch” list for some time. The idea of a beach that somehow ages its visitors I found very fascinating.
But before you start streaming, while this directed by M. Night Shyamalan, I felt it was not as good as I expected it to be.
When a family arrives at the picturesque Animika Resort, they are let in on a secret secluded beach where they and another family and a couple are dropped off for the day.
It does not take long for them to discover that there is something unusual about this beach. After a startling discovery is made, it is discovered the kids are different – they’ve grown and aged.
After time, it’s not just the kids who continue to age at a rapid rate. It becomes clear that some visitors might be sicker than initially thought. “Old” stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen and Aaron Pierre.
Guy (Bernal) and Prisca (Krieps) have been struggling in their marriage and would like to give their kids one last vacation before telling them of their possible separation.
When they arrive at this resort, kids Trent and Maddox are six and 11.
The resort manager tells them of a private beach where they can have a once in a lifetime experience.
When they and another family are dropped off at the beach, the driver tells them to call when they want to leave, or he’ll be there at 5 p.m.
It doesn’t take everyone long to figure out there is no cell service and they do not know how to leave without blacking out.
Maddox sees rapper Mid-Sized Sedan (Pierre) who is waiting for a woman he came with who is swimming far out in the water.
A medical emergency occurs on the beach, and one of the members of the other family, Charles (Sewell) is a doctor.
The strange occurrences and mysterious aging are taking a toll on people’s mental faculties. Charles keeps asking what movie starred Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando.
The group soon figures out that one half hour on this beach equals one year of life.
As each member of the group tries some way to escape, bad things happen. Now everyone is aging.
There is a scene with the other mother Chrystal (Lee) where she is trapped in a cavern going after Trent (Wolff) and Maddox (McKenzie) that was a bit hard for me to watch.
Can any of them make it off the island?
This is based on the graphic novel “Sandcastle” by Pierre Oscar-Levy and Frederik Peters. Since this was an M. Night Shyamalan movie I was waiting for the big twist. I don’t like giving away spoilers, but I will say he’s done better. This is less a horror movie and more a creepy movie as you learn details about the beach and its visitors; it’s also a little sad in parts.
One thumb up.
Available on HBO MAX and to rent. <