Thursday, October 26, 2023

Part of Your World

The Little Mermaid
Director: Rob Marshall
Cast: Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Jonah Hauer-King, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwavina
Released: May 26, 2023

Much like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, this is another remake of a Disney animated movie from the '90s. (Okay, so technically, The Little Mermaid came out in 1989, but, close enough). Much like the others I just named, it pretty much follows its animated counterpart, but with a few exceptions. There are added songs and there are more fleshed out scenes for character development and to explain something a little more better that perhaps wasn't so clear in the original. The animated Little Mermaid is a little under an hour and a half and this movie is two hours and fifteen minutes! Yes, there are added songs (about three news ones, I believe) and some scenes are extended, but it seems shocking that it's almost 45 minutes longer! 

Okay, let's start with the new songs first. As I already mentioned, there are three new songs, plus a new reprise to "Part of Your World". The new songs...are not that great. Two in particular are really bad. Okay, to be fair, I've only listened to the new songs about four times: once when I watched the movie the first time, once when I watched it a second time to take notes, and I've listened to the soundtrack twice. One of the new songs is called "For the First Time" and despite it reminding me of the song from Frozen (well, the title reminds me, not the actual song), it's definitely the best of the three new songs, but nowhere as good as any of the original songs. Ariel (Halle Bailey) sings it when she becomes a human and she's being brought to the castle, but since at that point, she has given up her voice to Ursula, she's singing in her head. Luckily, they cast someone with a great voice for Ariel and she does justice to Part of That World, probably one of the most iconic Disney princess songs out there. However, I can't say the same for Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). Yes, Prince Eric has his own song. It's called "Wild Uncharted Waters" and he sings it after he's been rescued by a girl with a beautiful voice. You know how they gave Princess Jasmine a song in the live action Aladdin? Well, I guess they thought they needed to give Prince Eric a song too? For some reason? Jasmine, I understand, because at least she IS a Disney Princess and never had her own solo song. And then there's the last new song, which, thankfully, is only a little over a minute. It's called "The Scuttlebutt" and it's sung by Scuttle (Awkwafina) and Sebastien (Daveed Diggs) when it's been announced that Prince Eric is engaged. Of course, they think he's engaged to Ariel, but he's not! Look, I love Awkwafina. I think she has some really funny line deliveries in this movie (one of my favorites is how she says "Yessss-ahhhh!" when Sebastien asks Scuttle if she's listening to him), but singing is just not her forte. Yes, I realize that Scuttle is supposed to be a bad singer, but this song is just terrible. I feel like it's only in here because it's near the end of the movie and they realized they haven't had a song (aside from the second reprise of "Part of Your World") in awhile. 

There are a couple of songs from the animated movie that didn't make it into this one. First of all, and this really doesn't surprise me, "Les Poissons" is not in this movie. It is a bit cartoony and I understand why they didn't include it. I'm not terribly upset about it because I would rank it last of the original songs. (Although I still love it: "Les poissons, les poissons, how I love les poissons!") 

Another song (although much smaller) that isn't in the movie is "Daughters of Triton". I mean, it's not a totally big loss although I do like the song (or ditty, really). They most likely excluded it for two reasons: 1) Triton's daughters don't have the same names as the ones in the song. (So no Aquata, Adrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, or Alanna. Obviously, Ariel is the only one who kept her name cuz she can't change her name!) Do I remember the names of his daughters in this movie? No; no, I do not. There was no catchy song to help me remember any of them. And, 2), There's a Coral Moon ceremony that Ariel misses, she's not singing in her debut.

However, they do keep the four main songs which we all know and love (at least I hope everyone knows and loves!) from the animated film. I'll add my thoughts on each one when I get to those parts of the movie. 

This Ariel is a little more well-behaved than animated Ariel. She is forbidden from going up to the surface and keeps her word...until a certain point. Animated Ariel was also supposed to not go to the surface, but she did anyway. For instance, in the animated movie, when Scuttle is showing Ariel and Flounder the fork (ahem, I mean, dinglehopper!) that he found, Ariel goes to the surface where he's on some small rock formation in the sea. In this movie, Scuttle swoops down into the water to show Ariel and Flounder (Jacob Tremblay)  the "dinglehopper" and this bird is underwater for quite a few minutes! They do make a joke out of it after Ariel realizes she's late for the Coral Moon and swims off, Scuttle says she's gotta go too and get some air.

One thing they touch on in this movie that they didn't in the animated one is how mermaids have a siren song that lure men to their deaths. (Somebody read The Odyssey before they made this! I remember reading that in my ninth grade Lit class with Mrs. Bradley as my teacher.) While Ariel (and I'm assuming all mermaids) have beautiful voices, it's not like they're using them to lure humans to their deaths even though King Triton (Javier Bardem) believes that all humans are barbarians. We do learn that Ariel's mother was killed by a human, so I suppose Triton's disdain of humans is justified! 

Speaking of family dynamics, Ursula is Ariel's aunt; Triton is her older brother. We find this out when we first meet Ursula and she's able to see everything with her magical orb. When she sees the Coral Moon ceremony, she mentions how they "forgot to invite Auntie Ursula to the party." I wonder how that works, though, since Triton is a merman and Ursula is an octopus. Yes, she does have the upper body of a human, but how did she get eight tentacles? I wonder if she transferred herself that way when she went to the dark side. We need an Ursula origin story! 

Also, speaking of mermaid anatomy, don't mermaids need to go up for air? Aren't they, like dolphins? In that they can stay under water for a few hours at a time, then come up for air? Okay, I just looked up how long dolphins can stay underwater at a time and I was way off. It looks like they can hold their breath anywhere from five to ten minutes, maybe even twenty minutes, but not hours at a time. Maybe I'm thinking of whales. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that since mermaids are half human, you'd think they would need to come up for air too! But I guess they are part fish too, so the question is, do they breathe with lungs or gills? Mermaids are effing weird if you think about it. 

"Part of Your World" is the first big song we hear and I think it's the best song in the movie and the one that translated best to this new film. Halle Bailey has a phenomenal voice that suits a Disney princess quite well. It still has the essence of the original, but she adds her own touch to it. I do love that when she later turns into a human, we see her reacting to a fire that's burning in the castle's fireplace and she reaches out to touch it, before recoiling from its heat. That's a nice callback from the line, "What's a fire, and why does it, what's the word? Buuuuuurrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnn!" 

After she sings this, she sees fireworks coming from the ship above the surface and goes to investigate. This is the first time she actually goes to the surface. Of course this is the ship that Prince Eric is on with Grimbsy and the rest of his crew. A big change to this movie (that desperately needed it) is that we learn a lot more about Prince Eric. Pretty much in the animated movie, Ariel falls for him because she thinks he's attractive and he thinks she's attractive and they fall in love and live happily ever after. They try to give him a little more depth; they're not just having Ariel looking at him with googly eyes and deciding she's going to give up the only life she's ever known just to follow a guy because she thinks he's hot. She very boldly hoists herself up on a lifeboat on the side of the ship to see what's going on. Of course, this is the part of the movie where a huge storm will capsize the ship and while the other men get on the lifeboats, Ariel will save Eric from drowning. But before that, she will hear Grimsby telling Eric that now that he's become of age (21), his responsibilities are at home. Eric replies, Yes, trapped inside the castle in isolation and fear." He tells Grimsby he wants to be "a different kind of leader" and that "they need to stay open to what's out here, that's the only way [their] island can grow" and also adds that he "feels there's something out there, calling to [him]." 

A difference between both movies is how much both species hate each other. In the animated movie, Triton is very anti-human, telling Ariel she's forbidden from going to the surface, but I don't remember the humans being so vitriolic towards the mermaids. If anything, they're just curious about them. After their boat has been capsized, the Queen attributes the shipwrecks and hurricanes to the "sea gods" and believes that "they are eroding our land from under us, stealing it back into the ocean." On the other hand (fin?), when Ariel is helping her sisters clean up the wreckage from the shipwreck, they all pretty much act like the humans did this on purpose. WTF? At least Ariel is like, "I don't think they intended to have a shipwreck." Yeah, and if you asked the Queen, she would tell you it was the fault of the sea gods. I could understand the mermaids being angry if they found trash thrown overboard by the humans, but that isn't this case at all. One of the mermaids says, "They'd kill us if they had the chance" which echoes what the Queen says about them. So both species thinks the other wants to kill them. This reminds me of Romeo and Juliet. Wow, I'm just name dropping all the literary greats! 

Ariel has now become smitten with the prince and is humming to herself. Triton thinks this means she is in love, but he thinks it's with a merman. When he asks Sebastien about it, the little crab is so flustered and spills the beans that it's a human man, not a merman Ariel is in a haze about. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised that Sebastien was so nervous about it because Triton is joking with him because at this point he thinks it's a merman that has stolen the heart of Ariel, that Sebastien could have just denied the whole thing or tell the King he doesn't know who it is. But he lets it slide that Ariel is in love with a human and Triton is pretty upset about this. After he forbids Ariel from going to the surface and destroying the statue of the prince,  Ursula appears in her magical bubble and Ariel asks who she is and Ursula replies, "You must not remember me. I'm your Auntie Ursula." There's a funny moment when Ariel replies, "The Sea Witch?" and Ursula drops her sickly sweet voice and deadpans, "The what?" I loved Melissa McCarthy's delivery there. She convinces Ariel to come see her, telling her she can help her and Ariel does, escorted by the two eels. Now the eels in the animated movie are named Flotsam and Jetsam, but I don't think they're named in this movie. They also don't talk like they did in the '89 movie, although they don't talk often in that one if I remember right. 

So Ariel swims to Ursula's creepy underwater lair (okay, to be fair, I guess everything is under water!). As she goes through it, there's a skeleton of a mermaid, lots of mermaid skulls, creepy aquatic plants with eyes, fire that blows out of holes when she passes by, and weird sea plants that look like claws and grab at her when she swims by; one even grabs her around the throat. If I were her, I would have a lot of questions and concerns! I'd also be like, hell no, I'm getting out of here! Ursula calls it her "aggressive garden" and she calls her relations with with Triton "squidley rivalry". 

So of course this is when Ursula tells Ariel she will create a portion for her to become human for three days and before the sun sets on the third day, she and the prince must share a "kiss of true love" and if that happens, Ariel will remain human permanently. If she doesn't complete this task, she'll turn back into a mermaid and will belong to Ursula. If were Ariel, I'd be asking, What do you mean I belong to you? What exactly does that entail? Ursula also adds that Ariel won't have her "siren song because that wouldn't be fair", which, okay, I get that, but why not at let her least talk? I know, I know, they're going by the animated movie and, also, Ariel could just basically tell Eric what's going on. Okay, that was a stupid question. Forget I asked it! 

This is when we get "Poor Unfortunate Souls", another great song, although it doesn't have the oomph that the original did. You could tell that Melissa McCarthy as Ursula was channeling Pat Carroll (the original Ursula). I have stated before that "Be Prepared" (from The Lion King) is my favorite Disney villain song, but this is in strong contention for my second favorite.

When asked if she wants to go through with it, Ariel is hesitant and replies, "I don't know." I feel like the animated Ariel was also a little hesitant, but more ready to take the plunge (or opposite of plunge in this case!) while this Ariel seems to be weighing the consequences. Honestly, I think both options are pretty horrible. Yes, if she manages to kiss Prince Eric, she can remain human, but she'll never see her family again and even if she does come back as a mermaid, she's basically Ursula's little mermaid. I don't think I'd want to depend on Ursula to make the rules for me! But, of course, Ariel signs the contract (which includes plucking a scale from her tail and giving a drop of blood) and she gives up her voice to become a human. 

Okay, before I continue, I forgot to mention "Under the Sea" which comes after "Part of Your World" and before "Poor Unfortunate Souls". It's the song that's probably the most popular from the movie, but it just isn't the same. The main issue I have with it is that Ariel harmonizes along with Sebastien, singing "Under the Sea" (uh, I mean those literal words, she doesn't sing the entire song with him, just to be clear!) In the animated film, she does humor him and bops her head a little at the beginning, but then towards the middle, she's barely paying attention anymore, and by the end, we see her swim off with Flounder. In this movie, she still swims off with Flounder, but it makes no sense that she's singing along with Sebastien and dancing to the music. 

So Ariel becomes human right there in the depths of the ocean. You would think Ursula would let her swim up to the surface first, but this is Ursula were talking about. She's pretty deep underwater, wouldn't she get the bends? I don't think Ariel really thought this through because when she does surface (complete with the hair fling - which I know is an iconic moment from the animated movie, but I don't think it translated as well to the live version, but I do understand why they felt like they had to have it), she's completely in the middle of the ocean. Now in the animated movie, she's near land and she meets the prince within, like, five minutes, which was pretty convenient. Here, she (and Flounder and Sebastien) get caught up in the net of a fishing boat. Obviously, she is naked, but the nets and seaweed are covering her up. I'm sure this is one of the reasons why they changed it. This is when Scuttle scoops down and lands on Ariel's knee and makes a comment about how there's something different about her and Sebastien gets so irritated with her and says, "She's got legs, you idiot!" I love how frustrated Sebastien gets with Scuttle. Before the fisherman notices Ariel, Sebastien tosses Flounder back in the ocean and hides in a crate with other crustaceans. When the fisherman does notice her, he thinks she's a victim of a shipwreck and gives her something to cover up in. 
They added a little twist to the plot when we get a scene of Ursula talking to her eels, telling them that she made sure Ariel won't remember she needs to kiss Eric. Wow, that's way harsh! I don't think this plot point was in the animated movie and not sure why they changed it. I guess this Ursula thought this Ariel would be able to make it happen and just wanted the security that it wouldn't. 

Ariel is taken to the castle (I can't remember why she's taken there) and the maids give her a bath and when she tries to eat the soap, they just think she's really hungry. I laughed at the look Ariel gives one of the maids who tells her "Let's get that seaweed stink off of you." 

I mentioned earlier how I thought it was way convenient how Ariel just comes across Eric at the beach in the 1989 version, but in this one, as the maids are dressing her (and they're giving this poor girl who's literally just learning to walk high heeled boots!), she hears them talking about him and how he won't rest until he finds the girl that saved him. As they say this, they realize that the girl in front of them might be the one he was talking about and they retrieve him. When Eric asks her what her name is, the maids tell him she doesn't speak and he realizes it can't be her since his mystery girl was singing to him. He tells her she's welcome to stay at the castle for as long as she needs. 
Sebastien makes his way up to the room where Ariel is staying and at first he wants to get her back to the King and see if she can be a mermaid again, but he also doesn't want Ariel to be miserable for the rest of her life, so he agrees to help her kiss the prince. He realizes that Ariel doesn't have any recollection of this, that she just gives him a blank stare. As he later tells Scuttle when Ariel is out, "the thought jumps clear right out of her head". We get a funny moment (and perhaps a nod to the original fairy tale?) when Scuttle tells Sebastien that Flounder has filled her in on what's going on and asks, "Has Ariel killed the prince yet?" 

In this version, they basically make Eric into a male human version of Ariel. Seriously, it's a little too on the nose. When Ariel is at the castle, she finds a huge room that is just filled with lots of paraphernalia from the ocean. So just like Ariel likes to collect human things from land, Eric likes collecting things from the sea! He has a little figurine of a mermaid that he found off the coast of Cartagena that he calls his "little mermaid" and tells Ariel that he "never believed all that lore about mermaids luring sailors to their deaths." He gives Ariel the mermaid as a gift since he has so much stuff from his voyages. He also shows her a huge fossilized sea stone and when he gives it to Ariel to look at, he's horrified when she smashed is on the ground, but then when she reveals a beautiful gem inside the stone, he's amazed. He's also amazed when he shows her a large conch shell and she blows into it, making a sound like a horn. 

We see them bond as Eric shows her a map of some of the places in and around South America he's visited. He also shows her a map of the island they're on and offers to show her around the next day. They take a carriage ride and come across an outdoor market. There's a fun Easter egg where a woman gives Ariel some fruit with a fork and when she receives it, she starts combing her hair with the fork and is given weird looks by everyone. While that is a shoutout from the animated movie (Ariel uses the fork to comb her hair during dinner!), the woman is played by Jodi Benson, the original voice of Ariel. I didn't know this the first time I watched it because I have no idea what Jodi Benson looks like now (or 30 years ago!), but I read it somewhere and I knew it was her when I watched it a second time. 

Ariel and Eric join in dancing to calypso music and Ariel picks out a straw hat for Eric. This hat will come in play later when it's becoming dusk and she and Eric are heading back to the castle. Scuttle nabs the hat and flies off with it and Ariel and Eric chase after the bird and end up at a lagoon where Scuttle has dropped the hat in a row boat. Eric sees that Ariel is interested in the boat, so they get in and start paddling. Scuttle tells Sebastien and Flounder (who are also there), "I think it's time for a little vocal romantic stimulation" and proceeds to do a "bow chicka wow wow" routine. I love how Sebastien just simply says "Please, no." If you haven't already guessed, this is when we get "Kiss the Girl". While I think it is so much better in the animated movie, I think it's really cute in this one. For one thing, in the animated movie, Sebastian has a whole orchestra of animals (fish and flamingoes among them) singing along, while in this one, it's only Flounder and Scuttle singing along with Sebastien so it's not as epic. When they sing the chorus, Scuttle screams "he's gonna MISS THE GIRL!" and Sebastien tells her, "pull back, Scuttle, pull back." 

 During the song's interlude, Eric shows Ariel the different constellations and tells her what they're called and mentions he still doesn't know her name and starts guessing random names. In the animated movie they just have Sebastien whisper her name in his ear, but in this one she pointes to the Aries constellation and when he says it, she puts her finger over his lips on the second syllable and I guess tries to make him say the "L" sound? I'm not really sure, but he gets Ariel and she nods enthusiastically. At first, I was wondering why she just didn't write it down on a piece of parchment, but then realized she probably doesn't know how to read and write. In reality, she probably shouldn't know English as if mermaids DID exist, they would probably have their own language. In the animated movie, there is some slight criticism because Ariel signs her name on the contact Ursula produces for her so it would make sense for her to just write down what's going on....although maybe she only knew how to sign her name? I don't know, but that's probably why they changed it to Ursula binding the contract with a scale and and a drop of blood. Anyway, the song continues and they are about to kiss, but their boat is tipped over and you see the two eels swimming away. 

We see Ursula witnessing this with her magical orb and she says it was too close and she can't "let that happen again" and she decides to take "matters into her own tentacles." Obviously we know that this means turning into a beautiful human herself with Ariel's angelic voice.

While Ariel and Eric were out, carriages had been sent out to try to find the "mystery girl" and when they return from their outing and Eric has said goodnight to Ariel and she's gone to her room, Grimsby tells Eric that they didn't find his mystery girl. He asks him if they should continue the search for her. Eric seems unsure so Grimsby offers him some advice: "Don't be held back by what you think should be. Think only of what is." In other words, he's telling him he's obviously smitten with this girl he's already met and has gotten to know her and why would he bother looking for another girl who may or may not exist? 

We see Eric outside on the beach, contemplating, I guess, when he seems to have an epiphany and starts running towards the castle. He stops suddenly when he hears the same singing voice that he heard the day he was rescued. He sees a beautiful girl with dark hair just standing on the rocks in the ocean like she just appeared there. Now in the animated movie they give her the name Vanessa, but I don't remember anyone ever calling her by a name. 

The next morning Ariel finds out that Eric is getting engaged (through that horrible song I mentioned earlier!) and she thinks she's the lucky girl, but soon discovers that she's NOT the lucky girl he's engaged to. Of course, this devastates her and she runs away. She doesn't even seem to notice that Eric seems to be in a trance. (Because he's being brain-washed, that's why!) It's Scuttle who discovers that Vanessa (I'm just going to call her that) is actually Ursula and she goes to warn Ariel and the others. When she does, Ariel heads back to the castle and Sebastien tells Flounder to tell King Triton what's going on (we did get a scene of him earlier with his other daughters discussing how they've searched all seven seas and no sign of Ariel anywhere) and he tells Scuttle to fly him to the castle. There's a hilarious scene where Scuttle is getting close to the castle (she's holding Sebastien in her beak) and he tells her that he'll let her know when he wants her to drop him. He dumbly asks her, "Got it?" and when she replies, "Got it!", she drops him and he falls into the ocean below. Oh, man, I was laughing so hard at that part. I love how he screams, "You idiot!" as he's falling. 

In this movie, it's the engagement party that they crash, not the actual wedding that they have in the animated film. I guess they thought it was a tad too early for Eric to get married to a girl he literally just met the day before! Scuttle starts attacking Vanessa, and Max, Eric's sheepdog, also joins in. There's a lot more creatures in the animated movie (I remember seals being there) that go after the disguised sea witch, but this one they keep the chaos down to a minimum. I also like how in this film it's Ariel who grabs the necklace around Vanessa's throat and just rips it off her and smashes it on the ground and regains her voice. In the animated movie, the necklace comes off during all the pandemonium and breaks on its own and Ariel's voice finds her way back to her. Eric seems to snap out of his trance when he realizes that Ariel is the girl he was looking for all along, that she was the one who rescued him and sang to him on the beach. They are about to kiss, but of course the sun goes down and it's too late - the curse has been broken and Ariel turns back into a mermaid as everyone gasps. Even more alarming, Ursula becomes her sea witch self again and she grabs Ariel and they both dive into the ocean where King Triton is there to meet them. Ursula tells him that if he gives himself and his trident up to her, she will let Ariel go and he takes that deal. She turns Triton into a small, pathetic part of her garden and takes his trident. Now I'm not sure exactly how far deep down they are in the water, but Eric swims down with a harpoon, trying to puncture Ursula, but misses. Ursula sends her eels after him and points the trident at him, but Ariel grabs her arm and she accidentally kills her eels with the trident instead. 

Ariel is able to escape (although it's not like she was restrained) and she swims to the surface with Eric, telling him he needs to get out but he tells her he's not going to lose her again. This is when Ursula becomes a giant version of herself and creates a huge whirlpool. In the animated movie, it's Eric who saves Ariel by impaling Ursula with the bowsprit (I had to look that up on Wikipedia) of his wrecked ship, but in this movie they flip the script and have Ariel save Eric by doing the same thing. Since Ariel is still a (little!) mermaid, she can't exactly walk to the wheel and steer it in the direction it needs to go; instead she sort of slithers towards the wheel and it's very uncanny. It honestly kind of creeped me out and made me think of this book I read a few years ago called Into the Drowning Deep which is about creepy, murderous, bloodthirsty non-English (or any known language) speaking mermaids with grotesque bodies. It's a super gory book, but I loved every second of it and there is a shoutout to The Little Mermaid in it when one of the characters calls one of the mermaids "Ariel". If you don't mind your fairy tale image of mermaids being ruined and can handle a bit of gore, I highly recommend it. 

So Ursula is killed and Triton and the other merfolk that Ursula had captive are released and returned to their natural size. Triton sees how much his daughter wants to be with Eric, so he transforms her into a human she's able to be with him. I really liked her wedding dress with the relaxed, beachy island vibes. 

Overall, I think this movie was pretty good. Yeah, the songs just weren't the same, but at least they tried with making Ariel's and Eric's relationship based more on physical looks. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Time Is Not On Their Side

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Rufus Sewell, Vicky Krieps, Ken Leung, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie
Released: July 23, 2021

Before I dive into my review, a quick summary of my history with M. Night Shyamalan-directed films: Now I know he directed two movies before The Sixth Sense, but I've never seen them and I don't think many people have heard of them and I highly doubt either of them have his signature twist ending, and nobody knew who he was pre-The Sixth Sense, so that's why I'm gonna start with that one. So I, as many people, loved The Sixth Sense and I saw Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village. I really liked the first two (though not as much T6S), but I was pretty meh on The Village. That's the only movie of the ones I've listed so far that I've only seen once. I've seen the others at least three times. Then we have a bunch of his movies that came out that I didn't see, mostly because I heard they were pretty bad! This includes Lady in the Water and The Happening. Then after THAT, he did what I often hear are the two worst movies he's ever directed: The Last Airbender and After Earth. Even if those movies had gotten rave reviews, I wouldn't have seen them because I'm not interested in the subject matter. I know the former is based on some animated show that I know nothing about and the latter is a sci-fi apocalyptic movie with Will Smith and his son. The next movie to come out in his filmography is The Visit, which I haven't seen, but has gotten positive reactions for the most part. He can really go up from here and I have seen all his movies that's been released since then: Split, Glass, Old (obviously!), and his latest, Knock at the Cabin

I would say that what would normally be considered the twist in Old is not only revealed in the trailer, but it's also revealed in the title! (Not to mention the movie poster where you see a woman sitting on a beach and half of her is young, while the other half is old. Not exactly how it worked in this movie, but I understand what they were going for). I suppose since you find out what's going on in the movie thirty minutes in, they didn't want to keep a secret from the audience, but they sure do give a lot away in the trailer! I don't think there's necessary a twist at the end of the movie, but more of a reveal. Of course, when I get to anything which I believe to be truly spoiler-y, I will give a warning! 

There are many characters in this movie, but our main focus is on the Cappa family who we first meet when they're taking a shuttle bus from the airport to the Anamika Resort where they're headed for a nice (so they think!) beach vacation. Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Prisca (Vicky Krieps) are the parents and their children are eleven-year-old daughter Maddox and six-year-old son Trent. 

In just a few short minutes, we get many references to time: 

-Maddox is singing and her mom mentions she has a beautiful voice and she can't wait to hear it when Maddox is older.

-Trent asks if the resort offers scuba diving and how old one has to be to participate in it and his dad tells him he might be too young.

-Trent whines that their dad said they would be there in five minutes and it's been more than five minutes and asks when they're going to get there and his mom replies, "Stop wishing away this moment." 

They soon arrive at the resort where a bunch of people are waiting for them, waiting to serve their every need and the adults are offered a cocktail to welcome them. Prisca mentions to her husband, "This is much better than Cancun." Ha! Just give it a day, Prisca, and you'll be redacting that statement! We also find out that Prisca found this place online. We never find out where this place is located, but I know it was filmed in the Dominican Republic. I don't think we (as in the audience) are supposed to know where this place is geographically located. 

The resort has a candy station where Trent and Maddox meet Idlib, who is the six-year-old nephew of the resort manager. I guess he lives at the resort? I wasn't really sure about that. Since he and Trent are the same age they become fast friends and we see them playing together at the beach and going around to adults and asking them their names and what they do for a living. This is something only a couple of adorable six-year-olds can get away with this. I figured this was going to come back in the movie and it does. Idlib tells Trent that he doesn't have any friends, but Trent tells him that he's his friend and they can FaceTime each other after he leaves and even suggests that they can go to the same college, then "become neighbors with mortgages." It's a cute, funny scene, but also a little sad in hindsight, especially if you know what's about to happen. (Which you might if you know the premise of the movie!) Idlib has also created fun little secret messages for Trent to decode. He has different symbols that represent a letter of the alphabet. We see one of the messages that Trent decodes says "Ice cream eating contest tomorrow." 

In their bedroom, Guy and Prisca are talking about how they would give the kids "one last vacation before telling them." There are only two things that they could be talking about: 1) they're getting divorced, or 2) one of the parents has a medical condition. Well, it turns out it's both! Geeze, with this kind of disparaging news, they should have taken the kids to Disney World! But it turns out that they were planning on separating even before they found out Prisca was sick (we won't find out what she was diagnosed with until later in the movie) and she doesn't want to tell the kids about her "irrelevant medical condition." 

The next morning, we meet more characters who will be going on this crazy journey. Charles (Rufus Sewell) is a doctor married to a woman, Chrystal (Abbey Lee), who is much younger than him. They have a daughter, Kara, who recently turned six and they are with Charle's mother, Agnes, and she has her small dog. Chrystal is gorgeous and in great shape and she knows it. Of course you need a character obsessed with her youth and beauty in a movie like this! 

Another couple who is important to this story is Jarin (Ken Leung) and Patricia (Nikki Amuka-Bird). We meet them when they're having breakfast outside and Patrica starts having a seizure. Charles, the doctor, who's also having breakfast with his family, goes over to help and Jarin tells him he is a nurse and his wife has epilepsy. It is not uncommon for Patricia to have seizures and after a few moments, she is fine. Now, I admit I don't know much about seizures, but when I googled them, the first thing that came up is that if someone has two or more seizures in more than 24 hours, it's called epilepsy, so apparently this a daily occurrence for this woman which is terrifying. 

Also having breakfast is the Cappa family. Before the epilepsy incident, the resort manager comes up to their table to recommend that they visit a private beach that is on the nature preserve side of the island. He calls it "a once-in-a lifetime experience." Well, he certainly isn't lying about that! He also tells them he only recommends it to certain guests. Ha! I bet he does! He tells them he can arrange a van to take them there for the day and they agree. Oh, if only they knew how this decision would affect the rest of their lives. Literally. While this is going on, Trent spots Idlib peeking around and his uncle quickly goes over to him and tells him he's not supposed to be in this area. Idlib goes to make another puzzle for Trent to solve because before they get in the van to visit this secluded beach, we see the piece of paper in his backpack. Also in the van is Charles, Chrystal, Kara, and Agnes with her small dog. 

Now we all know M. Night Shyamalan always (usually?) gives himself a cameo in his movies. And they're not blink-and-you'll-miss-him type cameos, oh no, he is pretty much on screen for a few minutes, so you know when he makes an appearance. Sometimes he has more screen time in his movies than others and I would say this is one of those movies. He is the van driver, taking these two families to the secluded beach. Once they get there, he does a checklist to make sure they have everything they need (like sunscreen) and asks them if they made sure they left their passports in their safes back at the resort because he doesn't want anybody to lose anything. Now the first time you're watching this, you're thinking, of that's nice of him, but when you watch it a second time, you realize why he's asking them that. Or maybe you realized it the first time! He tells them they can call him when they're ready to leave and he'll pick them up or he'll be back at five, whichever comes first. (I assume at this time, it's nine or ten a.m.) He has also brought a TON of food for them which Guy thinks is a waste, but the driver tells him there are three kids and kids each a lot of food. Sure, teenagers (especially boys) eat a lot of food, but do kids eat a lot? I feel like kids are really picky when it comes to food, they're not usually scarfing it down. There are two six-year-olds and an eleven-year-old with them; honestly, they're probably going to eat less than the adults. Since there's so much stuff, Charles asks the van driver if he can help, but he tells them he needs to get back. Yeah, once we realize what's going on, it will be pretty obvious why he refused to help them! On the way to the beach, they walk through a canyon/cave. 

When they get there, they are not the only ones on the beach. There is a man already there, sitting by himself against the rocks. Maddox gets excited because she recognizes him as the rapper, Mid-Sized Sedan (who came up with that name?) and is aghast when her dad doesn't know his hit song, "More Dough for the Cookie'" (again, who came up with that name?). We had actually seen him earlier; I think it was supposed to be earlier that morning where he and a young blonde woman were on the beach and the woman takes off her clothes and starts walking into the ocean, looking seductively over her shoulder at him. That's all we got before we see him here. Maddox wants to talk to him, but her parents tell her to leave him alone since he's on vacation. 

There's a bit of tension between Guy and Prisca when Prisca, who's reading, covers the title of her book and asks Guy what she's reading and he replies that he doesn't know. I guess this is to show that they're drifting apart, but honestly, I don't think not knowing the book your significant other is reading is the biggest deal. Maybe they don't have the same tastes in their reading material. I bet you my mom doesn't always know what my dad is reading and vice versa. 

The three kids are having fun, all playing together on the beach. We see them notice stuff in the sand, near a giant rock wall, and most of it seems to be rusted silverware from the hotel. They play hide-and-go-seek and when Trent is hiding in the water behind a rock wall, he notices that there are no fish around him. Also, from behind him we can see a naked body floating facedown, about to bump into him. Ahhhh! Even though we don't see the face, I know it was the young blonde woman who we last saw wading into the ocean. The body bumps into Trent and the poor kid is terrified and screams for his mom. Everybody comes running and Prisca takes the kids away while Guy and Charles lift the body from the water. We see Brendon come up and both his nostrils are bleeding and he can't seem to get it to stop. You know, I don't think I've ever had a bloody nose in my life and I'm kinda glad cuz there's just something especially gross about it. Charles tries to call the police, but he can't get any reception.

Guy asks Brendon about the woman and he tells him that she swam out by herself and he was waiting for her. He then gets defensive and says he had nothing to do with it when Charles asks him why his nose is bleeding, but he refuses to say anything more. 

We next get some small moments of things to come which includes Agnes laying under an umbrella and telling her daughter-in-law that her chests feels funny and Chrystal replying that they should have gone on a yacht like she suggested and Trent telling his mother that his swimsuit is starting to hurt. 

At that moment, Patricia and Jarin show up. Guy wants to try to catch the bus driver before he leaves and tells the couple that he thinks they all need to leave. Jarin tells him he's already left. He and his wife see the body, now covered with a towel. They ask what happened and while Guy tells them they don't know, Charles indicates Brendon had something to do with it and thinks his nose is bleeding because he and the now deceased woman got into a fight. Brendon tells him his nose has been bleeding for hours and he doesn't know why it's been doing that. Chrystal comes running up to tell Charles that something is wrong with his mother. While Charles goes to check on her, Jarin tells the others he's going to go to the clearing by the jungle to see if he can get a signal there. He says there must be a place to get reception because how else could people call to get back? He makes a very valid point because that is what the van driver told them. As he walks through the canyon/cave, he starts gasping, then the screen goes black and we next see him laying on the beach with his wife helping him sit up. She tells him he stumbled out and he was holding his head and looked like he was in pain. He says he felt a pressure in his head. 

While Charles is talking to his mother, telling her he's going to get a van to come back for them, Prisca comes up to him and asks if he can take a look at her son because he's having "some kind or reaction." Charles dismisses her because he sees Trent playing with Kara off in the distance and they look fine to him. He can't really worry about the kids right now because he will have to give CPR to his mother who soon stops breathing, but it is too late and she dies. He thinks she died because she saw a murdered woman and was so shocked that her heart couldn't take it anymore. It won't be long before her dog will die as well. Nobody seems to really care about that; they're just like, "Oh, the dog has died." Of course, they do have bigger things to worry about at that point. 

There's a moment where the Cappa siblings are talking to each other and the way the shot is set up, you only see parts of them, like Maddox's legs (she's standing up) and Trent's left arm and part of his back (he's sitting, facing her). You know by this time they are different actors (er, ages!) because their voices sound different. They're telling each other that they look different and Trent tells his sister he sees something shiny way up on top of the rock wall that is surrounding the beach. 

In a scene soon after that one, we see the backs of Maddox and Trent as they are talking with Jarin and Patricia. Trent asks them their names and occupations and we learn that Patricia is a psychologist. They ask the kids their names and ages and before they can give their ages, Jarin wants to guess how old they are because he claims to be good at guessing ages. Hehe, he might not be so good in this case! You know who is terrible at guessing ages? Me! He guesses that Trent is ten or eleven and doesn't believe Trent when he informs him he's six, but Maddox confirms that he is six and that she is eleven. Patricia, in a low voice (although I'm sure the Cappa siblings can hear her judging by their proximity to them), says to her husband, "They're feeling unsafe. There is a lot going on here." Jarin thinks they're messing with them, but decides to let it slide. Not long after, Prisca comes up to the couple and asks them if they've seen her children. Now I realize she doesn't recognize Maddox and Trent who are standing right across from Patricia and Jarin, but wouldn't she be wondering who these two young people are? She doesn't even seem to acknowledge them. Naturally, Jarin and Patricia are confused because they know her kids are literally right in front of them and Jarin asks if everyone is playing a joke on them. Trent speaks up and says, "I'm right here, Mom." We see Prisca's shocked face as she takes in her six-year-old son who looks eleven and her eleven-year-old daughter who looks sixteen. Trent is wearing a towel around his waist and Maddox's swimsuit is too small for her and she will soon changed into an extra swimsuit that her mom brought (that was fortunate!) 

While this is going on, Brendon decides to book it and runs through the canyon/cave, attempting to escape. Charles follows him and they both black out and end up on the beach. Charles mentions that it felt like he was deep underwater. They realize they can't get out through the canyon/cave, which, besides swimming or climbing the giant rock wall, is the only exit. 

Prisca, who thinks the kids are having a reaction to something they ate or caught something since they're on a "remote, undeveloped island" (that's some reaction they're having!) tells her husband she wants the doctor to look at them. But before she can do that, Charles has gone up to Brendon and slashed him across the face with a pocket knife he had in his pocket. Everyone rushes over and Charles apologizes, telling the others that he thought Brendon was going to hurt him. His hand is covering the slash on his face and he tells the other he must be in shock because he doesn't feel any pain. When Jarin asks to sees the gash, he removes his hand and it is revealed that the gash has completely healed and it's just a scar. Something crazy is going on in this island! Brendon opens up and admits to the others that he did try to escape, but only because he was freaked out. We find out that he had just met the girl at the resort and they started talking about how they're both sick and she had just been diagnosed with MS. He had told he he had a "weird clotting with his blood." Patricia and Jarin catch on that he mentioned they were both sick and Patricia thinks "maybe this is some kind of group psychosis." She tells the others she's studied this and thinks that because they're all emotionally shaky, they don't believe they can leave this beach. 

Kara has also aged and she's now about 12 or 13. Charles thinks it might be a virus or a reaction to the mosquitoes on the island or something that is happening to trigger their hormones. 

While the ocean waves are crashing ferociously against the rocks, Jarin asks who thinks they can "swim a hundred lengths of a pool against the current and then turn and swim an unknown amount along the coast til they find another shore?" That's his guess of how far it would be to swim out and get around the cove. Uh, nobody, that's who. And nobody is keen to give it a go. Not that I can blame them. 

Patricia has gathered everyone around for a discussion. She thinks they need to know each other so they can trust each other. She goes around, asking everyone why they came to the resort. Chrystal admits that she and Charles have been having a tough time and Charles is stressed because he's a doctor, so he needed time away. Charles isn't too happy she's saying all this, but she tells him she won't say anything else. When the subject comes around to Guy and Prisca, Prisca changes the subject, telling them they need to make a decision and that the kids are probably reacting to a virus. She also declares she doesn't feel good and Guy announces that she has a tumor, but the doctors said it was benign. Of course, this is the first time the kids are hearing about this. Jarin asks her where the tumor is and Prisca points to her abdomen. He feels her tumor and tells her it's the size of a golf ball. She says that can't be right, that it's only supposed to be three centimeters. And then she faints. Now Charles feels her tumor and tells them it's the size of a soft ball. Jarin wants to cut it out, but Guy says no, then says he doesn't know what to do. Finally he asks if there's any alcohol and Chrystal runs to get some. Patricia provides the needle and thread Charles has asked for (though they'll soon discover they won't need it!) Right before he cuts into Prisca, he randomly asks if anyone knows the name of the movie Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando starred in together. This will come up again when he asks about it and we never find out what it was. I was thinking they were never in a movie together and that's why he couldn't come up with the name, but then I Googled it and they did indeed star in a movie together that came out in 1976 western called The Missouri Breaks. I have never heard of it and I feel like most people have never heard of it. Don't expect a review of it on here anytime soon! So then he cuts int Prisca's side. :::shudder::: Good thing she was passed out! He's using the same knife that he slashed Brendon's face with, so I'm hoping he was able to sterilize it really good! But, as soon as he slices her open, it closes. Jarin tells him to cut her again and they'll keep their hands in there to keep the incision open. Eww, they've been in the sand and saltwater and there's no place with soap and water to clean yourself; surely she would end up with an infection! So they do it again like Jarin instructed and now the camera is looking up at the faces of Jarin, Charles, and Guy. Guy says it's closing around his finger and Jarin tells him to keep pulling it apart with his fingers and we see him starting to lift the tumor out, but it's attached to muscle tissue. Charles exclaims it's the size of a cantaloupe! Ewww! And for extra grossness, the camera pans back down as they're taking out this disgusting bloody mass of a thing out of her. OMG, so gross! I wonder what they did with it? We never do see where they put it. Did they just toss it in the ocean? I would want that nasty thing far, far, far away from me! Prisca's incision closes and she wakes up (that was good timing!) She tells them she feels better and Guy tells her they removed her tumor. Hmm, so sounds like that tumor was NOT benign after all. 

For some reason, sometimes possesses Brendon to go over and lift up the towel that was covering the dead girl. I get that they need this for the plot, but it makes no sense why he would want to look under there. I sure as hell wouldn't want to look at a corpse rotting in the sun! But, like I said, it's done for plot purposes because he is startled by what he sees and calls the others over. This is when it is revealed that her body has completely decomposed and it's just bones. Prisca, who works in a museum, says it would take seven years for a body to decompose like that, but yet this happened in three hours. 

Jarin thinks something wonky is going on with time on the beach and Prisca is able to do some quick math and by going by her children's ages and the time they spent on the beach, she figures that "half an hour is equivalent to something like one year of [their] lives." She has noticed that Guy has wrinkles and says the aging process must be true for everyone but they don't see it on everyone. At least now we know why they have so much food; it really was for the children who would be going through growth spurts, and, as Jarin points out, they are eating so much because "they need to grow an enormous amount of mass quickly." The adults are staying roughly the same mass, but their cells are aging. Prisca points out that their hair and nails should be "growing at an abnormal rate", but Jarin rationalizes that cells in hair and nails are dead. I get what he's saying and he's correct, but it doesn't make sense for a dead body to decompose that fast because dead body equals dead cells. Oh, well, I'm just going to go with it. 

Being that an hour equals two years of your life, it doesn't take long for them to figure out that they'll age almost fifty years in one day. (Boy, I'm sure glad they made the math easy for them and for us! Can you inagine if they aged 3 years every 47 minutes or something like that and you would have to figure that out?) They think their rapid aging might have something to do with the rocks around the beach. Sure, I'll go with it. This is a movie where you just have to go with what they're telling you or else it will make you insane trying to come up with a rational reason for what is going on.

Jarin compares them trying to leave is "like swimming to the surface too fast after being too deep in the ocean." He states their bodies can't reacclimate and that's why they become unconscious when they try to leave. He suggests that they could walk slowly through canyon/cave by taking a step, then standing still and do it over eight to ten hours to let their bodies acclimate. Of course, according to Prisca's timeline, that would mean someone would have to give up twenty years of their life trying. No one volunteers. Although, wouldn't they all be aging twenty years in that time? In fact, the people on the beach would probably age even more because the person who escaped after reacclimatizing would need time to find a their way back to the resort or wherever to find help, then get the help to come back...and how would they even help them? I suppose they could help them by sending a boat or a helicopter. But they don't know if that will work. As far as they know, at this moment, there is absolutely no way way to escape. Wouldn't it make more sense for EVERYBODY to do this tedious process of slowly taking one step, then stopping over the course of ten hours to get through the wonky barriers of this supernatural beach. 

Since the time Prisca fainted, Trent and Kara were ushered away and they've been spending time in a tent fort that Kara created earlier that day (when she was six) and getting to know each other. They're teenagers now and discuss their feelings. Kara tells Trent that she doesn't feel the same and that her mind is changing too and she's getting many thoughts at the same time. In an earlier scene, a more mature Maddox had confessed to Brendon, "I don't feel the same way I felt yesterday or this morning, and I don't think my parents would understand. My thought have more colors in them now."

So we know that both their bodies and minds are maturing. However, they really never touch on the subject of their knowledge. Do Trent and Kara know their multiplication tables or much about world history, being that they started the morning as six-year-olds? (When do kids learn their multiplication tables?) Even Maddox, beginning the day as an eleven-year-old would have have limited knowledge. 

I think this might be a good time to put up a spoiler warning. Even though some of the things I'm going to start talking about are shown in the trailer, I don't want to take that chance and ruin anything for anybody who hasn't seen this movie yet and doesn't know the outcome. Also, there are still quite a bit of people left on this beach and I don't want to spoil who, if anybody, makes it out or if they all die on this beach. 


So it is noticed that Trent and Kara aren't with them and they start calling for them, then they see them walking towards them down the beach and the parents are relieved because they look to be fine. However, when Trent and Kara are getting closer to them, they notice that Kara is very pregnant and everyone is shocked, which I don't blame them. I guess Trent and Kara's teenage hormones were raging, but it is a little weird because they just met that day. Maybe they realized they didn't have much time and would be too old or dead soon and wanted to try it out. We never actually see them getting it on, we just see them laying next to each other in the tent talking about their feelings. I feel like they only have this in the movie because of the extra drama it adds, which it certainly does. They try to rationalize it by Trent telling his parents he has feelings for her and he wants to marry her, but they just met. I don't buy they have those kinds of feelings for each other. Although, they are going through this crazy trauma together. At first, I thought they were going to have this rapidly aging new life on the beach and was curious to see how they were going to do that. But what actually happens makes a lot more sense. 

Needless to say, we get the fastest pregnacy in human history. Think about it: if half an hour equals a year, then nine months is what? About twenty minutes? The baby starts to come and Charles, Jarin, and Patricia are helping her. Kara calls out for her mother, but the camera pans as Krystal, who can't take what's going on and is freaked out, runs off in the opposite direction. She goes into the cave, but ends up on the beach passed out and Maddox runs to help her. By this time, a baby is heard crying. We don't see the baby, but just see the awed reactions of Chrystal and the Cappa family. The camera starts to pan over to Kara, her dad, and Jarin and Patricia and suddenly the crying stops abruptly. Once the camera is on them, Patricia is holding the baby, wrapped in a towel and tells them they just put him down for a few seconds to clean him off, and "he closed his eyes." Chrystal comments that he died from a lack of attention and they all know that "things are moving too fast for a baby to survive." Needless to say, they didn't need to cast a baby for this! Like I mentioned before, thank goodness they made the math easy in this because I made my own equations of what their new time line would look like, and, indeed, time is way to fast for a baby to survive.

We already know that 30 minutes = 1 year. So with that information: 

15 minutes = 6 months

7.5 minutes = 3 months

3 and a quarter minutes = 1.5 months

1.5 minutes =  3 weeks

45 seconds = 1 and a half weeks (9-10 days?)

22.5 seconds = 5 days

11 seconds = 2.5 days

6 seconds = barely a day 

So by my counts, that baby would be aging a day every five, six seconds! That is insane! They wouldn't have time to keep up with its eating or sleeping habits, let alone making time to change it or hold it. And I thought babies aged super fast in Sims 3! (Of course that could be because I have it that way because I can't stand babies and/or toddlers in Sims 3! If you play that game, you know exactly what I'm talking about!) 

So now everything is going to sh*t and it's going to get worse. Now, you're probably thinking some of these adults are about to die of old age in the next few hours and that those who started as kids on this beach are going to die tomorrow. And, yes, you would  be right, we still have a lot of characters that need something to happen to them. People are going to die and not all of them will be lucky to just die of old age.

Jarin will attempt to swim to find a way out to get help, but his body will washed up on the shore; much like what happened with the girl Brendon was with. Not long after the death of her husband, Patricia will suffer a fatal seizure that lasts much longer than the one she had at the resort the day before. 

Charles will stab Brendon to death and after the attack, Guy will take the knife from the shell-shocked doctor. 

Trent and Kara will have a discussion about how they won't get a prom or graduation or do any of the things they were supposed to do as teens or young adults. Kara proclaims it isn't fair and she's 100% right - it isn't fair or right for anyone on this beach that their age progression has been sped up to the max. It's very sad and depressing. Hell, I think time goes by way too fast as it is now! I can't imagine aging forty-eight years in a day! Hell, I would be pissed if I  were only there for half an hour and aged one year! Kara (probably in her twenties at this's kind of hard to keep track of how long they've been there so far) is desperate to find a way out, so she climbs the rock wall. She's actually a pretty good climber and gets scarily far up. At first, Trent and the other Cappas tell her to come down. Trent wants to go with her and starts climbing, but Guy pulls him off and tells him it's too dangerous. Trent calls up to Kara to tell her to come down; that they should stay together, but she replies with what if they spend this whole time trying to get out and they still don't make it? We get a scare when Kara's foot slips, but she manages to hang onto  a protruding rock. Guy starts to think she might have a change if she can make it to a ledge she's coming up on and rest. Well, she does make it to the ledge. And she does rest...unfortunately for a little too long. She must have gotten to the point where one blacks  out because she falls to her death. I hope to God she was unconscious through the whole thing, cuz, yikes!  

So all the deaths I just mentioned take place during the day. We still have some more deaths to go, but they won't happen until it's dark, so let's take a break from all the death and despair! By this time it is clear that Charles has a mental disorder and Guy points out to Prisca that at least one person from each group was sick or had a medial condition. He asks her how she first heard about this place and she tells him it was "a random sweepstakes" and it "came with a receipt at the pharmacy" and she "followed it up online and started getting emails." Guy claims that they know their medical conditions and that they were chosen. They also realize that they have their passports and a car was sent to pick them up at the airport and they could "make it look like [the Cappa family] never left [their] house."

It is revealed that Prisca was going to leave Guy for another man. Maddox confronts her mom about it and she says it's true, but when Maddox asks, she tells her daughter that her husband did not know about her affair. However, we will find out later that Guy did know because he saw texts he wasn't supposed to see. Ruh-roh. Apparently he knew the guy and the guy must be a bit of a wanker because he asks his wife, "Why that guy?" Prisca tells her daughter that she got scared when she found out about her tumor and she asks Maddox if she hates her. Maddox tells her she just needs time to which Prisca sadly replies, "We don't have that." Lots of time metaphors in this movie, interesting! Guy and Prisca do seem to reconcile as Prisca apologizes to him and tells him there's no place she wants to be, but with him. 

As the sun start to set, Guy has started to lose his vision and Prisca has started to lose her hearing. Charles, however, has still lost his mind, as he has retrieved his pocket knife from Prisca's bag and starts stabbing Guy. He tells Guy that "the man with the tattoos" (he's talking about Brendon aka Mid-Sized Sedan) was "gonna steal things from my home." He doesn't want Guy to tell anybody what he did, so now he's attacking him. Prisca also gets stabbed when she tries to shield her husband, but then runs off to tell the kids to hide after Guy tells her to do so. None of their stab wounds are fatal as they heal because he's mostly stabbing them in the back (literally and figuratively!) and their arms because they're shielding themselves, but that still has to hurt like a you-know-what! 

The rusted silverware that the kids (you know, when they were literal kids) found earlier that day comes back in play when Prisca grabs a rusty knife and stabs Charles and she tells him the rust acts like a poison when it gets into your bloodstream and he dies.

Before their mother had told them to hide from the crazed man with a knife, Trent and Maddox had found a notebook in the sand. They quickly realize that whoever wrote in it was trying to figure out what was going on this godforsaken beach. They wrote, "Magnetism of this exact spot on the Earth with the rocks on this beach submerged beneath the ocean for millions of years deposited with special minerals are causing our cells to age at a rapid rate." I'm still curious to know where they are, geographically! I bet it's where the Lost island was located! Trent suggests that perhaps they "can make a metal tube that [they] can get in that stops the effect on [their] cells" and they can just walk through the canyon/cave and out of this place forever. Maddox points out where would they find a metal tube? I guess this scene kind of proves that their minds are gaining knowledge as they grow older because I don't think a six-year-old would think of what he just suggested. At this point, I would guess they are both in their thirties. The author of the notebook had also written down a list of all the names and addresses of the people who were on the beach with him. Trent notices
a light in the distance on top of the cliff and he's pretty sure somebody is recording him. This is about the third mention of somebody seeing something off in the distance. 

When their mother tells them to hide, they go into a cave. Chrystal is also there and she's not doing too well herself. The woman who used to be young, fit, and blonde and capturing herself on Instagram now wants no one to look at her. When we first met her, we learned she had a calcium deficiency and because she's not getting her calcium (and I'm sure the fact that she's aging rapidly also doesn't help), her bones are becoming deformed and she just kills herself by dropping a large rock on her. 

So now, it's late at night and the four family members of the Cappa family are the only ones left alive. Guy and Prisca are senior citizens now, I would guess in their 80s, though their aging is very subtle. We come full circle from the very first scene when adult Maddox sings to her mother, the same song she sang in the car the day before when she was eleven. You remember? Her mother told her how she couldn't wait to hear her voice as an adult and now she gets to.

In a very sad scene, Guy asks Prisca if they were fighting about something. When she tells him they were, he replies, "Whatever it was, I'm not mad anymore." He also mentions he can't remember why they were trying to leave this beach. It's clear he is losing his memory and that he has no idea that just that morning he was a man in his early to mid-forties. Not long after, he suddenly collapses and you know he has died. Prisca soon dies not long after him. It's really sad, but at least they didn't die a horrible death like everyone else on the island. 

Teen and young adult Trent and Maddox have been played by Alex Wolff and Thomasin McKenzie, but when they wake up the next morning, they are now probably in their early/mid fifties (I'm guessing they literally slept through their forties and maybe even their late thirties) and are now played by Emun Elliot and Embeth Davidtz. I have to say the casting for this movie was done pretty well. I believed all the actors playing the Cappa siblings could be the same person. I'm guessing Alex and Thomasin were cast first since they are in the majority of the film, then they cast their younger and older versions. 

It is now the next morning and they guess they have about thirteen hours left. They are still determined to find a way out, but before they do that, Trent suggests they make a sandcastle first. As they do, Maddox says, "I wonder if everybody continues to feel like a kid when they're our age, or is it because we were kids yesterday?" Ha! I imagine it's a little bit of both. Those two really didn't have much time to adjust from being a child to being an adult! 

Them building a sandcastle is just a plot device for Trent to find the secret message from Idlib that he never decoded. Maddox tells him to decode it, so he does. It says, "My uncle doesn't like the coral." He thinks the coral might protect them from the effects of the rocks. Can you image if he had decoded this as a six-year-old in the van on their way to this place? He would have been so confused! Although, I'm guessing as they aged, he would probably figure out that was a huge clue. 

So they decide to give it a try and they both swim underwater through a coral tunnel. It's not an easy swim and they will have to hold their breath for a few minutes. It gets even scarier when Maddox gets her shirt caught on the coral. Trent swims back to help her and now they're both struggling to get her free which has to exert more energy which can't be good. Now you're probably asking, a) why is Maddox wearing a shirt in there first place and the answer to that is probably for the purpose of the plot and b) why didn't Maddox or Trent just try to take the shirt off of her (it was a button up shirt that she was wearing like a jacket) and they do show then trying to do that, but for some reason it won't work. I'm not really sure. But again, it's done for plot purposes to show that they're struggling to free her. 

They are still struggling underwater when it is finally revealed who has been on top of the cliff with a telescope, camera and other electron equipment. It is the van driver aka M. Night Shymalan and it looks like he just isn't the van driver for the resort! He is looking through the telescope in the direction of the coral and he calls someone to confirm that both the remaining people have died. He has watched for at least a minute and a half and hasn't seen any movement. He tells the man he thought they were going to get through the coral and doesn't know how they even thought of going through there. Apparently, only one other person had tried to escape through the coral, but he drowned.

We follow him to a secure place at the resort that looks like a lab with computers and many people in lab coats conducting experiments and monitoring sicknesses and diseases like diabetes and tuberculosis (those were two I caught on a screen). We hear someone say that all the "home computer devices have been wiped", clearly talking about those who recently perished on the beach. The resort manager (the one who is the uncle of Idlib) leads them in a moment of silence for the members of Trial 73.

You have probably figured out by now that all the people who were on that beach just the day before and have all died were the members of Trial 73. Throughout the movie it's been hinted at that the medical conditions of these people have something to do with why they're at this beach so it comes to no surprise when we learn that these are researchers from a pharmaceutical company called Warren & Warren that uses this beach to conduct their research. As the manager tells them, "Because of this beach, we have been able to save hundreds of thousands of lives with new medicines." We learn that they found this beach that they were meant to find on a research expedition and that they "were meant to test medicines in one day instead of a lifetime." The specialty-made cocktails that each person receives when they arrive at the resort are laced with a drug that they have created for each individual's medical condition. We find out that the medicine they gave Patricia worked very well as she didn't have a seizure for eight hours and sixteen minutes which is the equivalent of sixteen and a half years. He tells them they'll "fast-track trials, make that medicine, and share it with the whole world." Everyone claps, congratulating themselves, never mind the fact that they just pretty much murdered a bunch of innocent people, not to mention they robbed three children the experience of growing up. 

My God, this has to be the most unethical thing ever! Sure, I'll admit, it's an amazing thing they can do and it's a wonder to science and medicine and I know they think what they're doing is for the greater good: they're killing off a few people to save millions more (huh, I just realized this reminds me of Knock at the Cabin), but they fact that they're tricking people into it and their families (which sometimes include small children!) become collateral damage as well. I don't know, but I really feel that there would people with medical conditions and diseases and sicknesses that might, oh, I don't know, consent to being studied on this island and aging rapidly. Maybe they are in a bad place and want to do something good before they die. Maybe they know they're going to die soon and want to help people in the future with their disease. I really don't think they need to trick, then pretty much murder innocent people. Also, I would love to know the backstory of how they found this island. 

Not surprisingly, we learn that Charles had schizophrenia when one doctor tells the resort manager that he thinks they need to "separate the purely medical subjects from the mental illness subjects" because their "violent schizophrenic patient cost us data on our blood clot patient." 

In a turn of events that surprises no one (except maybe M. Night's character), Trent and Maddox are still alive! They have made it out of the coral! We go back to the struggling underwater and with determination, they manage to free Maddox and they swim to their safety. They now know they are not surrounded by the forces of the island anymore because there are fish swimming around them. 

Remember when six-year-old Trent and his pal Idlib were going around the beach two days ago (which I'm sure seems like a lifetime to Trent, probably because it literally was!) asking people their names and occupations? Well, one of those people he asked this question to was a cop named Greg Mitchell. We see the cop sitting in a lounge chair and we hear Trent's voice say, "You're a police officer" and he hands the cop the notebook with all the name and addresses of the missing people. 

Just as a van of new and unsuspecting people has arrived and they are about to be given their laced cocktails, Trent bumps into the woman (who is played by Clint Eastwood's daughter) carrying the tray, shattering the glasses. He tells the guests, "I wouldn't take anything they give you." 

By this time, all the resort workers know they are f***ed. They know now that Trent and Maddox made it out alive. Trent sees Idlib and shows him the decoded message. I do have to wonder how Idlib knew that his uncle didn't like the coral. Did he overhear his uncle cursing the coral one day? Also, while I don't think Idlib knew what was happening on that island, he had to know that nobody that went there ever came back, so why didn't he just warn Trent and Maddox not to go there in the first place? Why didn't he just say "If my uncle invites your family to a private beach, don't go. No matter how great he makes it sound, trust me, you don't want to go." Yeah, yeah, I know, then there wouldn't be a movie, but he had plenty of time to tell them. 

Greg Mitchell confirms the first three names in the notebook are missing persons and he sends the rest of the names. He tells Trent and Maddox that everyone has been arrested and subpoenas are being served at Warren and Warren's headquarters this week. (They don't mess around!) The cop and the Cappa siblings are flying in a helicopter, on their way to the airport where Trent and Maddox's aunt will be waiting for them. When Greg asks them how she's handling things, Trent replies, "How would you feel if a fifty-year-old man called and told you he was your six-year-old nephew?" I just realized that he and his sister are probably older than their aunt, or at least pretty close in age. 

For two people who have lost four decades of their life in the course of a day, Trent and Maddox are pretty chill about the whole thing. They were literally six and eleven years old twenty-four hours ago. They lost their parents in a very unfair way. They never really got to know their parents if you really think about it. They lost the experience of finishing their childhoods, being teens and going to high school, being young adults, and all that stuff you go through before you reach fifty. I would be a little more inconsolable if I were them!