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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 point...it'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.
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!
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.
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!