People are scared of a lot of things: heights, clowns, dentists, and being the main character on Twitter, just to name a few. However, most human anxiety filters out of one main fear: the fear of death. What if I die suddenly? What if no one remembers me after I’m gone? What if nothing I have ever done matters? Yes, clowns are scary, but mostly they’re scary because they might unhinge their jaws and devour us before we’re ready to go quietly into the night.
Most people’s fear of death was exacerbated in the last year and a half because of a global pandemic — and naturally that has bled into the stories being told through film and television. M. Night Shyamalan seized on our cultural anxiety by adapting the graphic novel “Sandcastle,” which tells the story of a group of people trapped on a beach where time moves so quickly that they’ll all be dead inside of a day.
The movie “Old” was the result and it isn’t just about how scary the fast approach of death is, it’s also about how individuals fail to cope with the sudden, acute certainty of death. Looper sat down with actor Gael Garcia Bernal to talk about what it was about “Old” that scared him and the impact the story has on his character Guy.