Warning: the following article contains heavy spoilers for Sand castle, the inspiration for M. Night Shyamalan’s new film, Old. Read on only if you want to know what happens at the end of the graphic novel the film is based on.
If there’s one thing fans of the M. Night Shyamalan films have come to expect over the years, it’s the unexpected. The esteemed filmmaker – known for creating cult classics such as The sixth sense and The village, has delivered many brilliant twists throughout his career.
With that in mind, everyone can’t wait to find out what might happen at the end of his new movie, Old. As the official synopsis says, the film is about “a family on a tropical vacation who discovers that the secluded beach where they relax for a few hours makes them age quickly … shrinking their entire lives into one day.”
But what makes them age so quickly? And is there any way out of the situation?
Since the official trailer for the film (which you can watch below) released in late May, the question has been on everyone’s lips – with many fans sharing their theories as to what could happen.
However, if you can’t wait to find out what happens at the end of Old when the film hits theaters on July 23, you might just be in luck. You see, Old is not just the brainchild of Shyamalan – it is inspired by the very popular graphic novel by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, Sand castle.
While the ending of the movie may differ from the book – it’s not a direct adaptation – the ending of the novel can still give us an idea of ââwhat to expect.
Plot ? If you’re someone who enjoys knowing the ending of a movie before you’ve even watched it, read on to learn more about the conclusion of Sand castle.
What happens at the end of Sand castle?
Sand castle tells the story of 13 strangers who find themselves stranded in an idyllic cove; two families with young children, an Algerian refugee sleeping in the cliffs above the beach, a young couple and a science fiction writer.
Things look almost utopian in the cove – the water is clear and the sun is shining – but it doesn’t take long before strangers start to stumble upon random clothes, which leads them to the body of a floating dead girl. in water.
Then both families begin to realize that their children are growing up – fast. At first, parents think they might imagine things – that they’ve bought the wrong size swimsuit, or that their kids are having a major growth spurt – but as kids reach and going through puberty, all within a few hours, it’s clear that something strange is happening on the beach.
At the same time, one of the men tries to attribute the death of the young girl to the Algerian refugee, who was the first on the beach and saw the young girl undress and enter the water. When he goes to call the police, however, he encounters a voice on the other end of the phone saying the number is invalid.
Faced with the realization that something is seriously wrong, many people try to leave the beach, only to be faced with an invisible wall. One of the men quickly realized that this was probably what killed the young woman in the water – she hit the wall, passed out and drowned. In short, the 13 strangers are stuck – and time is running out for all of them, quickly.
This awareness sends a sort of mad hysteria around the group, leading many young adults (former children) to act impulsively. Two pairs sneak in to sleep together, leading one of the young women to get pregnant. Of course, everything happens fast on the beach, so within minutes she is cradling a baby in her arms.
This is when something truly unexplained happens – and it’s a point that has sparked a lot of debate online since the book was first published. Hearing the sound of gunfire behind them, the group turned to see a young man running across the meadow surrounding the entrance to the creek.
The young man, a character one of the girls identifies as “the hotelier’s son” JosÃ©, is shot repeatedly by someone out of sight – and before he can reach the beach, he is shot and killed, leaving the reason for his appearance completely unexplained.
At this point, everyone on the beach is completely dejected and they come back to drink the last wine the families brought with them that morning. In an attempt to comfort the “children” (now middle-aged adults), the refugee tells them the story of a king who tries to escape death – only to waste the last seven years of his life in to fear. It is a sweet and meaningful moment that ends with the group falling asleep on top of each other.
And that’sâ¦ kind of all that’s going on. Forget a massive storyline that sees everyone rescued from the beach – or at least reveals the reason for their aging – with the “kids” deep asleep, the parents passing away, and later that night, the “kids.”
The only person left on the beach in the book’s final moments is the child born on the beach that day (who is also now an adult female), left to build a sandcastle on her own.
Because the movie is only inspired by the book – and M. Night Shyamalan is known for its twists – we doubt Old will end in a pretty straightforward fashion, although we’ll have to wait and see when the film hits theaters on July 23.
For now, why not grab a copy of the book and start reading? The plot might be a bit macabre, but there is also something oddly beautiful and meaningful about all of it, especially when paired with the haunting and detailed illustrations by Frederik Peeters.
Images: Universal Studios / SelfMadeHero