The Village is a riveting, edge-of-your-seat chiller with a stellar ensemble cast. As his isolated, tight-knit community lives in mortal fear of an oppressive evil inhabiting the forbidden woods just beyond their tiny village, one determined man (Joaquin Phoenix) dares to boldly step into the unknown and confront the astonishing truth.
Try Not To Scream
- The Village review by Kevin Stanley
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You rated this film: 4
M. Night Shyamalan's tale The Village is played out in the small Pennsylvanian homestead of Covington at the turn of the last century. The story revolves around the uneasy truce that the townsfolk share with the creatures that inhabit the bordering woods.
Bryce Dallas Howard stars as Ivy Walker and Joaquin Phoenix takes the role of Lucius Hunt. They produce similarly stoical performances, proving that in this instance less is more. Adrien Brody, Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt round out the cast with satisfactory contributions in what are fairly minor roles.
Cinematographer Richard Deakins creates a fiercely stylish backdrop that he gives real life to, imbuing his villagescape with eerie lighting and the dull autumnal hues of pre-technicolor clothing. Oppressive mist hangs as though dead in the air whilst leafless trees sway in the wind.
James Newton Howard's atmospheric score completes the portentous and eldritch ambience that is in the very fiber of the film. The horn and string arrangements keep hearts fluttering through the quieter moments until the pounding drums and thundering bass almost induce cardiac arrest in the more terrifying scenes.
That writer/director Shyamalan is savvy enough to allow his audience only the briefest peripheral glances of his demons naturally attenuates our fear of them. He demonstrates an apparently innate predilection for horror, an effortless ability to create tension and knowledge of his viewer's expectations. He only disappoints slightly with poor pacing midway through.
Shyamalan fans will expect an epochal twist and won't feel let down when it hits, as it has considerable impact. Overall, The Village isn't perfect, but certain sections are simply masterclass standard examples of how horror should be done.
I don't like horror as a genre and my rental of this title was clearly a mistake. Influenced by the fact that it was written by M. Night Shyamalan and that I'd enjoyed Sixth Sense (Unbreakable was only so-so mind you) I thought I'd give it a try.
If I'm honest I'd say that despite an interesting score reminiscent of Danny Elfman this film failed to tick any of the right boxes with me and after about 20 minutes I'd had enough. Maybe fans of the genre / M. Night Shyamalan might find something of interest here but I didn't. That's not to say it's complete rubbish it just didn't appeal to me and I've rated it accordingly. Needless to say this one's going back asap.
Should be titled 'Why Bother?'
- The Village review by Carole & Mark
(1) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 1
We watched this expecting something along the lines of Sixth Sense and Signs. What a disappointment - pointless watching it, and by the twist in the end we'd given up caring. Find something more useful to do than watch this rubbish!
Sorry could not sit through this appalling film. How could anyone sit down and write this. Where was the story - the adventure of a journey and discovery - the sympathy with the characters. Please can we return to good simple stories of adventure. Wells, Buchan, Ambler etc