M. Night Shyamalan's new movie Old is now in cinemas, which from its marketing alone left the director's fans appropriately divided. Would it be another deliciously twisted thriller from the veteran filmmaker, or one more uneven misfire?
The answer, curiously, is a bit of both.
Old, which focuses on a group of people who find themselves rapidly ageing on a seemingly inescapable beach, is neither a delicately crafted Hitchcockian thriller nor an infamous mess fans will be decrying years from now.
It's an entertaining, ridiculous movie which incorporates just about every single one of Shyamalan's strengths and weaknesses as a filmmaker.
While the particulars of its plot don't hold up to much scrutiny, as a barmy 108-minute thriller which aims to shock and amuse audiences in equal measure, it is a fun ride.
Mileage is likely to vary among audiences re: their tolerance for Shyamalan's expectedly clumsy dialogue, some so-so performances, and a third act tailor-made to divide, but Old also represents the director at perhaps his most fiercely unrestrained ever.
While few are likely to hold it up among the very best of Shyamalan's films, it's also nowhere near his worst - a firmly middle-tier effort that's doing a lot of interesting things even it doesn't always nail the execution...