Director : Andy Fetscher
Platform : Netflix
Death, ageing and old age can become a horror element in itself. This is what the new German movie ‘Old People’ serves us with. But this novel concept suffers from inconsistent pacing and it feels like the movie is going on endlessly without any progress.
In the movie we follow a divorcee who along with her kids is going to her sister’s wedding in the village. Soon, the old people in the village take charge and start attacking the family.
From the beginning the old people in the movie are shown as if they are ghosts, devils or some undead creature. They live in gloomy and dirty surroundings with nothing exciting, as if sucking all the happiness. In one scene, an old man is cuffed to the bed just so that he doesn’t fall off from the bed. These scenes are truly chilling owing to the fact that old age is inevitable.
Another layer of empathy is added by showcasing the negligent behaviour of youth towards these old people. How no one wants to work in an old age home or how the nurses themselves forget the name of these patients.
This setup feels right, until it doesn’t. There are way too many close up shots of old people staring and peering out of the window. And don’t get me started on the other slow paced sequences. The protagonist also takes some stupid decisions (like venturing out of the house and talking to a suspicious old man) which tests our patience.
I hoped she saw Jordan Peele’s Nope
Not that the writers did not focus on the characters here. There are a few characters (if not all of them) we feel for. Like I was invested in the elder daughter’s budding romance with her childhood friend. Later on we see how her boyfriend feels trapped in the village and plans to escape it one day. We also get the perspective of the younger son who desires that his parents stay together.
Old People offers a handful of scenes which makes us queasy. It could have been a captivating watch if more sub plots had been introduced instead of just extending the conflict between old and young people for almost 100 minutes.
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An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.