Old (2021)

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A family on a tropical holiday discovers that the secluded beach where they are staying is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day. (Letterboxd)
A fascinating concept is buried under atrocious acting and dialogue (lots of telling not showing and then telling some more: “I need to visit my sister, she’s a psychologist too-” WHO CARES), a back-and-forth-spotlight narrative on the beach that’s chopped up like a middle school stage play, camerawork that somehow depletes the suspense and horror instead of adding to it, and an over-explained ending that mars any thematic poignancy that came before (see the “what were we fighting about” scene).
4.5/10 (Bad)

JWM SPOOKATHON 2020: The Sixth Sense (1999)

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (IMDb)
Less a suspenseful thriller than a delicate drama that captures in whispers and patient takes all the agonizing horror and supernatural spookiness of loss, loneliness, grief, and fear. Great turns by the main four players make for many memorable scenes of dialogue (see Lynn and Cole in traffic; Malcolm and Anna at the end) that anchor a satisfying plot and a twist ending that makes sense in the best possible way. The chilly and transitional season of fall makes for a perfect setting for it all.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
CREEPY QUOTE: “I see dead people.” – Cole Sear
SPOOKY STILL:

The Visit (2015)

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Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents’ disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation. (IMDb)

A charming adolescent amateur-doc delivery gives this flick a relatable spooky-fun sort of feel in its kid-investigation first two acts featuring an enjoyable smattering of random creepy events (see especially Grandma’s nighttime escapades). Its believability comes into question post-(great)twist as the action picks up, but it makes it no less chilling. The family drama vacillates between feeling like an enriching and an irrelevant sub-plot but is consistently well-acted (Hahn especially).

7/10 (Good)