Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.
M. Night Shyamalan
Bryce Dallas Howard,
In a quiet, isolated village in olde Pennsylvania, there lies a pact between the people of the village and the creatures who reside in the surrounding woods: the townspeople do not enter the woods, and the creatures do not enter the village. The pact stays true for many years, but when Lucius Hunt seeks medical supplies from the towns beyond the wood, the pact is challenged. Animal carcasses, devoid of fur, begin to appear around the village, causing the council of elders to fear for the safety of the village, the pact, and so much more. Written by
M. Night Shyamalan:
[bright colors to signify something important]
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Not necessarily a horror film, but a character study with elements of horror
I went to see M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village" today.
First things first... I won't even discuss a SINGLE aspect of the plot, here, so you can read this safely. I will say this: If you plan to see the movie, do not read a single review (besides mine!). As with most of Shyamalan's films, the less you know about the plot going in, the better.
As far as the quality of the film... it is solid. Beautifully directed, well acted, dramatic, scary, sometimes funny, and with some great plot twists. It is not as good as "The Sixth Sense", but it's probably not fair to keep comparing Shyamalan's work to his first big hit, one of the best psychological horror films ever made. A director could work his entire career and never make a SINGLE film as good as "The Sixth Sense", let alone recapture that movie's amazing brilliance.
But, I hear you asking, is "The Village" better than "Unbreakable" and "Signs" (Shyamalan's second and third films)??? Well, that depends on what you thought of those films. Personally, I'd probably say that it is a better film than those two. At the very least it is more sophisticated, with stronger themes, a much bigger and better cast, and more subtle surprises than in those two films.
"The Village" continues Shyamalan's pattern of there being twists in the plot, but this time there are SEVERAL of them and they occur sporadically throughout the film... not one big one at the end. You WILL be surprised by the film, but don't expect to be bowled over.
I would describe this as his most subtle film, and also as more of a character study than a horror film. The characters here are very rich, and their interactions and relationships with one another are very rewarding in big and small ways. The acting is phenomenal, most noticeably by Academy Award winner Adrian Brody and Joaquin Phoenix. But first time actress Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron Howard's daughter), William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver all give solid performances as well.
"The Village" is a character study of how a community and individuals respond under pressure and fear. And while it has elements of horror, I'm not even sure I would describe it as a horror film.
But don't get me wrong, there are some real scary moments in the film... just don't go in expecting a roller coaster ride. While I was watching it, I kept thinking about some of the better episodes of The Twilight Zone that had a few thrills but left you thinking about human nature more than anything.
Go see "The Village", but bring someone with you.
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