Fernando González Gómez and Raúl Cerezo’s “The Elderly” (2022) is a Spanish-language horror film that deals predominantly with the psychological breakdown of elderly people who suffer from loneliness and deprivation. It explores the life of an elderly man named Manuel, who has recently lost his wife and suffers from acute loneliness and grief. While his son and beloved granddaughter try to take care of him, they discover a hidden, darker side to the otherwise warmhearted octogenarian, and it is not just him but all the other aged people in town who start demonstrating highly erratic and detrimental behavior, causing widespread panic and creating bloody havoc across town. The film is a deviation from traditional horror flicks insofar as its horror element is concerned. Instead of emphasizing merely the supernatural, it focuses on setting up an atmosphere of uneasiness and terror, employing psychological tropes to propel its plot. Starring Zorion Eguileor, Paula Gallego, Gustavo Salmerón, Irene Anula, and Engela López Gamonal, the film is all set to deliver a new kind of horror experience.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘The Elderly’?
The film is set in Madrid, where temperatures exceed fifty degrees Celsius in the summertime. As the temperature rises, an elderly woman named Rosa commits suicide by taking a leap from her balcony as her husband, Manuel, sleeps. After her death, their son, Mario, and granddaughter, Naia, want to take care of Manuel so he does not feel alone. But Manuel refuses to come live with them since he feels he is not welcome at their home, implying that Mario’s second wife, Lena, does not like him.
Lena, who is on a maternal leave from work, argues with Mario about letting his father stay with them, as she thinks that there is not enough room for all of them in their new apartment, especially with the baby coming, but Mario tries to appeal to her sympathetic side, stating that Manuel had just lost his wife and he had lost his mother, and the best thing at the moment would be to keep their family close, to which Naia agrees, making Lena feel like a villain in their story. The next day, Mario and Naia pick up Manuel and bring him to their home, but he starts acting in a weird manner, being especially hostile towards Lena, and she suspects that there must be something wrong with him and that he may have had something to do with his wife’s death. Therefore, she convinces Mario to pay a visit to his apartment the next day, after Rosa’s funeral, to find out what he is up to.
During her grandmother’s funeral at the church, Naia begins getting these strange visions that terrify her. She sees her grandmother’s mutilated face as if she is trying to warn her about something, but Naia cannot discern what it is that she is trying to tell her and screams out in fear. She takes her grandfather out on a walk after the service, and he narrates romantic stories about her grandmother, but he asks her to leave him at a park bench where a few other elderly people are sitting. Unsuspecting, Naia leaves him there and returns home, but Manuel and the other aged people weirdly gaze at something in the distant sky, almost as if awaiting instructions, making for a really creepy scene.
While in his father’s apartment, Mario finds the place totally trashed, with the calendar ripped out, rotten food kept in the refrigerator, and a bowl of half-burnt old pictures kept in his cupboard. But the strangest part was that as he was about to leave, the lady living in the opposite apartment came out to inform him that his mother, Rosa, had instructed her to make sure that Mario had closed the door before he left, which scared Mario. As evening falls and Manuel does not return home, Mario, Naia, and her boyfriend set out to search for him but fail to locate him. He is ultimately found by Lena to be on the terrace of their apartment, standing on the ledge, waiting to jump. As Naia tries to bring him down from the ledge, he turns back and tells her in a calm voice that her grandmother is going to come back.
‘The Elderly’ Ending Explained: What Is The Connection Between Rosa And Electricity?
The next day, Manuel is seen hard at work, trying to build some sort of mobile electronic device that he would install inside his chest. He cuts open his shoulder with a razor blade and inserts the device inside, and afterward; he just casually sews himself up. At the same time, Naia gets another vision from her grandmother, and this time she screams out in her sleep after seeing her jump off the balcony in a dream. That night during dinner, Manuel’s behavior escalates dramatically as he openly states that he will kill them all the following night, almost as if he were narrating a prophecy. Lena curses at him out of fear and lashes out with a knife in her hand, but Manuel topples the dinner table to stop the ruckus and calmly moves toward his room.
When Mario finally loses his calm and asks him for a reason behind his behavior, Manuel states that he was following the instructions of the voices inside his head so they would bring back his wife, as promised. Having no other choice, Mario and Lena decide to lock him up inside his room, but Manuel soils himself, and Lena takes him to the shower to give him a bath, but after an argument, he attacks her, stating that she should only be concerned about taking care of her baby and nothing else, leading her to lose her temper and beat him up. Afraid that her father and Lena would keep Manuel locked in, Naia breaks him out and takes him to her boyfriend’s apartment, from where he escapes.
As the power goes out across the city, Naia calls Mario and tells him that Manuel has escaped with the house keys. But as they hurry back to Mario’s apartment, Naia and Mario find that Manuel has ruthlessly murdered Lena by stabbing her multiple times and now stands over her corpse with a knife in his hand. As Mario instructs Naia and her boyfriend to hurry out of the building, they find that all the other older residents have turned maniacal and are mercilessly killing anyone they can find on the premises, including a newborn baby. Afraid of their lives, they turn back towards the apartment but find that Manuel has also killed Mario, and now all the other elderly residents, with a strange light glowing in their chests, surround them. Trapped, they try to find a way out, but Manuel stabs Naia’s boyfriend through the neck and backs her into a corner of her room. But just as she thinks she is going to be attacked, she hears her grandmother’s voice telling her to close her eyes. As she does so, the elderly look up towards the sky and leave, and Manuel tells her that her grandmother is ‘on her way.’ The film ends with Naia standing on the terrace of the building, looking out at the destroyed city, as a strange ‘alien-looking’ object emerges from the dense thunderclouds that have covered the entire city, leaving the doorway open for a number of possibilities.
“The Elderly” is a 2022 horror thriller film directed by Raul Cerezo.