October 25, 2021
Box Office $48.24 million;
$34.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray, $49.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for strong violence, disturbing images, suggestive content, partial nudity and brief strong language.
Stars Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Emun Elliott, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Aaron Pierre.
Director M. Night Shyamalan’s latest twisty thriller offers a disturbing examination of the concept of time and the aging process.
The story involves a family on vacation at a tropical resort. As a bonus perk, they are whisked away to a secluded beach with a few other families to spend a day relaxing in peace and quiet.
Things quickly go awry, however, when the older members of the group begin to experience health problems, while the children seem to be years older than they should be after a few hours.
They deduce that the cliffs surrounding the beach are composed of a strange type of strange type of rock that emits radiation that speeds up the body’s cellular processes, causing the visitors to age roughly one year each half-hour.
Making matters worse, the rock walls seemingly have them trapped on the beach, as the ocean currents make it difficult to swim away.
They also learn that someone in each family has a disease or illness, and it seems they were manipulated into visiting the resort and herded onto that beach, a suspicion compounded when they discover they’re being watched.
The story is built around the notion that time is a valuable resource that shouldn’t be squandered, hammered home by the scenario of parents literally watching their children grow into adulthood right before their eyes. Another member of the group is a model to whom the very concept of growing old suddenly becomes the immediate horror she must confront.
While the premise is fascinating, Shyamalan’s efforts to explore it are somewhat uneven, as scenes of creepy tension are often undercut by clunky dialogue.
The Blu-ray includes some deleted scenes that are too short to have much impact, and a few interesting behind-the-scenes featurettes, particularly one that explores the relationship between Shyamalan and his daughter, who worked as an assistant director on the movie.
The same extras can be found on both the regular Blu-ray and the 4K disc.