HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Village, The The Outer Limits
Year: 2004
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson, Cherry Jones, Celia Weston, John Christopher Jones, Frank Collinson, Jayne Atkinson, Judy Greer, Fran Kranz, Michael Pitt, Jesse Eisenberg
Genre: Horror, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 5 votes)
Review: In an isolated village somewhere in America, the townsfolk are burying a child who died of an infection. It is a solemn occasion, and the open air meal they hold later is made even more sombre by the sound of someone - or something - howling in the woods which surround the settlement. This is Those We Don't Speak Of, the mysterious guardians of the forest which the townsfolk have an uneasy pact with; they won't venture into the woods, and the forces beyond won't enter the village. But all is not well, as skinned animals are being found with the culprits believed to be Those We Don't Speak Of, although nobody will admit it. Life has been a question of balance up until now, but soon an event will occur which will put the simple lives of the villagers in jeopardy, and tip the scales in favour of the entities beyond the forest...

Even if you didn't know beforehand, you might be able to guess The Village was brought to you by writer-producer-director M. Night Shyamalan. The same funereal pace, the low key acting, the threat of the supernatural invading life, and of course, the big twist. Unfortunately, Shyamalan's reputation goes before him, and the big twist was all anyone concentrated on with regard to this, by now his fourth film in this vein, as if it was a joke with a much anticipated punchline. Unlike Signs, but like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, The Village's climactic revelation has a real emotional effect on the characters, and a quiet resonance. Shyamalan was being vilified by the time this came out, apparently for having the cheek to take his fantasies very seriously indeed, but The Village is perfectly fair in its story, not the cheat that some would have you think.

Although the majority of villagers are too scared to wonder about what's in the woods, one young man, Lucius (Joaquin Phoenix) has a burning curiosity. The teenage boys play a game where they stand as close to the perimeter as they dare, listening to the creatures approach for as long as they can before fleeing in terror, but Lucius is made of sterner stuff. He has love interest in the form of Kitty (Judy Greer), but he turns down her marriage proposal, much to her consternation. He's more concerned with Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard), her practically blind sister, who is also the object of affection for Noah (Adrien Brody), a rather backward fellow who the villagers tolerate as one would a mischeivous schoolboy. As Lucius goes to the elders, led by Edward (William Hurt), they are not keen on his plans to leave.

Most of the cast bar Brody, who overacts his simpleton role, opt for dignity in their portrayals, lending the already stony-faced atmosphere even more weight which it may or may not deserve. Shyamalan has created a myth-like background for his characters to interact in front of, and we learn more about Those We Don't Speak Of over the course of the story. They hate the colour red, which will attract their unwelcome attention, and is perhaps coincidentally the colour of blood, and take sacrifices in the form of the livestock the villagers slaughter for them. But now do they want more? A very strong sequence sees a few of Those We Don't Speak Of staging an assault on the settlement, and we get glimpses of tall figures dressed in red cloaks and with claws and spiny growths on their backs as the villagers hide in their cellars, as if it were an air raid.

If there's a drawback to all this, it's the joyless mood hanging heavily over everything; not simply the overcast skies, the bleak woods or the Spartan dwellings, but the feeling of oppression, like a malevolent version of The Little House on the Prairie. Soon tragedy strikes, and Ivy decides that she must pluck up her courage and enter the foreboding of the forest to get help, proving that much as they would like to, the villagers can't exist without outside assistance. The loss of innocence is what The Village frets about, and whether once you have lost that innocence, you can ever get it back - the answer would appear to be not without a lot of effort and a return to what is basically ignorance. The elders think they are working in the best interests of their community by never straying from their homes, but they can't keep the fears of the outside world away for good. Finally, The Village may be provocative in its severe solution to a harsh society, but most viewers will be preoccupied with the twist, and whether it's a letdown or not. Music by James Newton Howard.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4833 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

M. Night Shyamalan  (1970 - )

Indian-born, American-raised writer and director, whose forte is taking cliched fantasy stories and reinventing them with low-key treatment, usually with a child at the heart of them. After gentle comedy Wide Awake, he hit the big time with supernatural drama The Sixth Sense. Superhero tale Unbreakable was also successful, as was the religious alien invasion parable Signs. Shyamalan's mystery drama The Village was seen as ploughing the same furrow for too long by some, and his fantasies Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth (which he didn't conceive the plot for) were met with near-universal derision. On a lower budget, he made The Visit, which was cautiously received as a partial return to form, and Split, which was his biggest hit in some time, along with its sequel Glass, a thoughtful if eccentric take on superheroes. He also co-wrote Stuart Little.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: