The old and infirm seem to be having a renaissance in horror right now (see X most recently) and I for one am here for it.
Getting older is a terrifying prospect in itself but juxtapose that with attractive young people, a creepy AF setting, zero chill – and you get something like this German horror film.
OLD PEOPLE (2022)
A woman travels home with her two kids for her sister’s wedding but finds herself defending her family against blood-seeking pensioners.
Genre: Horror ∙ IMDB user rating: 5.0
My score: 3/5 ∙ Runtime: 101 mins
Sanna’s wedding has brought her sister and children back to their small hometown, somewhere in Germany. Big sis Ella is happy for her sibling, but things are awkward since she left her childhood sweetheart husband – and the kids’ father – for another life. Ella’s pa has also ceased contact with her since the split, though there’s not much she can do about that since he’s been shipped into an old people’s home.
Unfortunately, in stark contrast to the lovely weddingy vibes of Ella’s family situation, the town itself is looking increasingly run down and there’s something afoot with the elderly community, who aren’t acting like they normally would. Well, presuming battering the home help to death with the nearest heavy object isn’t normal behaviour.
Anywhoo, Sanna (Maxine Kazis) enjoys a sublime wedding day, surrounded by love and kindness. Ella interacts with her ex-husband Lukas (Stephan Luca) despite his new girlfriend’s annoyance and the kids rather transparently try to push them back together, Parent Trap-style. But the Old People. The old people have started a revolution, broken out of their retirement home and gone on a blood-thirsty rampage that will lead them straight toward the wedding party… Would be a real shame if they fucked things right up.
Seemingly guided by one particularly nasty old man, the golden oldies head forth to explore their newfound liberty. With horrific results.
- Who will live to see a new day?
- Who will throw everyone else under the bus just to save themselves?
- And finally, will unresolved feelings of love reveal themselves before it’s too fucking late?!
You know what to do.
As a middle-aged hag myself, I’m not mad at the idea of feral pensioners bucking against the system with weapons in their claws but the film does ponder thought-provoking themes such as cross-generational conflict and neglect. Honestly, it feels like a zombie movie but with not-dead zombies and there’s also some social commentary in there.
Old People also looks at jealousy and how horrible we could turn out to be in the face of utter terror and I kind of love how quickly Lukas’ girlfriend turns on Ella and her family. When she says of Ella’s daughter Laura – “She’s not my kid” – before leading her into danger, I felt that.
In conclusion, it was enjoyable, brutal and a little bit interesting. Makes you think about being a bit kinder to the old dear up the street, though thinking about it, shouldn’t it be the young people who are the pissed off ones? 🤔