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,
Lincoln Six Echo is just like everyone else - he's waiting to go to the Island, the only place left in the world to actually live a life. Thousands of people stay at a facility waiting to ... See full summary »
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
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Who'll pinch me to wake me up? Who will laugh at me when I fall? Whose breath will I listen for so that I may sleep? Whose hand will I hold so that I may walk?
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M. Night Shyamalan definitely did himself a disservice in releasing "The Sixth Sense". Brilliant as the film was, its "twist" ending was so powerful that audiences the world over expected nothing less from the talented young director. And so, Shyamalan has been trying with every single outing since to recapture that sense of awe.
Although many have made scathing remarks about the ending of "The Village", it is perhaps his most perfect since "The Sixth Sense"; though by no means a huge surprise, it nevertheless settles into the ambiance and leaves the film with a tinge of melancholy that belies the trailers.
It is a film of startling imagery, with a theme of 9/11-inspired innocence versus corruption that creeps into the mind and stays there until it unfolds over and over again. Many have called the acting "wooden", but a second viewing of the film would change that opinion; it is, after all, part of the point. Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron's daughter) lights up the screen in an astounding premiere performance as the blind Ivy, Adrien Brody delivers a searing portrayal of longing as the dim-witted Noah and Joaquin Phoenix heightens the moody tone with his strong, silent-type Lucius. "The Village" is about these people, this community living in fear, not the monsters of which they have been warned; it is about the psychology of fear rather than a horrific portrayal of it.
It must be said that the only thing wrong with "The Village" was the promotion for it. The adverts made it seem like a thrill-ride of Gothic horror, like the scariest film yet to be filmed - and audiences were running in their droves to catch yet another Shyamalan Twist. Instead of investing their emotions in the characters, viewers kept their distance in the knowledge that they would be hoodwinked, that the entire thing was a set-up to catch them out anyway. Wrong as this is, it was ultimately the undoing of the movie; had it been promoted as a thoughtful, stark, moody piece of film-making, then both the critics and the public would have been satisfied.
This is not a film about The Twist Ending, but about wrapping its beauty around your mind, and the quiet, haunting finale is what helps to keep it there.
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