Hi Readers! I hope you had a lovely 4th of July and are still in one piece. But, enough about that. It’s officially Spooky Season and the countdown to Halloween has begun! I hope this summer season thing is short-lived because although I’m a native Floridian, I’m not a fan of being outside in the heat. I know some, if not most of you, can relate. Enough ranting about this. Let’s get to the review.
The film I’m going to talk about is Old Man, written by Joel Veach and directed by one of my personal favorites, Lucky McKee. You may be familiar with McKee, as he’s known for other films such as the highly underrated May (2002) and The Woman (2011) among a few others. I was excited to see Lucky’s name attached to this project because he had not made anything for a good while, sadly. So, I went into Old Man with my hopes high for an enjoyable experience. Did I come out feeling as good as I did going in? Well…let me explain.
Old Man isn’t really a horror movie, but rather more of an odd thriller. Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe) stars as an old man living in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. He’s reclusive, hardened, eclectic and, at times, terrifyingly insane. Lang’s portrayal of a man who is clearly troubled in ways we don’t know of yet is completely engaging. From out of nowhere comes a knock at the door of Old Man’s cabin. Of course, he’s taken aback but opens the door anyway. There stands a young man who introduces himself as Joe (Marc Senter). He tells Old Man that he got lost in the woods while hiking and just happened to come upon his cabin because he noticed the smoke coming from the chimney. So, while the two strangers are stuck in the cabin, they start talking…and talking…and talking for the better part of 90-minutes. Honestly, if you’re looking for a deep story, this isn’t the movie for you.
So, what are they talking so much about? Old Man and Hiker Joe swap stories essentially trying to one-up or scare each other by sharing things they’ve done or seen in their lives. Exposing secrets which invoke fear, anger, paranoia…whatever they can. Basically, this is the gist of Old Man. There is some entertainment to be found in this movie by way of Stephen Lang’s portrayal of the title character. He channels a kind of Nicolas Cage range of crazy, which is fun to watch, and the cinematography adds to the joy of watching Lang’s quirky emoting and mannerisms. However, the entire story takes place within the cabin and there’s little else that goes on until the end credits roll.
I did enjoy Old Man. It’s different, though—not what I was expecting. It’s just not very memorable. Once again, it’s an incredibly slow burn without any real action or anything else other than reactionary banter between the two main characters. Yet, there’s no real character development. The exchanges between the two are interesting but draining at times. I think Old Man would work better on stage rather than on film perhaps, but that’s just my two cents. Still, if it sounds like something you’d like to try out, I encourage you to do so.