That's why I proceeded with care to the latest Shyamalan's work: "The village". The trailer looked promising: a desolate turn-of-the-last-century village, sorrounded by the forest in which some horrible creatures live. Promising, but being careful lately, I first checked around the net...and was amazed to see a big load of negative reviews. Roger Ebert for instance, whose opinion I usually respect, gave it a horribly low grade! Great.
Nevertheless, I chose to see it, and I must say was quite pleasantly surprised. Here, ladies and gentlemen, you have a very nicely shot, atmospheric thriller with great cast, good story and a few finishing touches of Shyamalan's cleverness (which could be simply called brilliant when compared with the latest scripts that the Hollywood vomits over its audience!).
Why the lousy reviews? Well, there are basically two kinds of people that will want to see this movie: first the horror fans, who will expect a gruesome and chilling and potentially bloody tale, and the puzzle-movie fans, who are more or less not interested in the movie itself, but in "solving the latest Shyamalan's puzzle" of what the movie is all about.
The horror crowd will be disappointed. There are scares in this movie, but way too much characterization and drama for their taste. As for the other crowd, well people, the twist is there, but this time it's very guessable (although Shyamalan still has some tricks up his sleeve, as you'll see).
It seems that Shyamalan will always live in the shadow of his masterpiece "The 6th sense". People still remember getting their socks knocked off with its powerful ending, and keep expecting that to happen again with every following movie. What's worse, Hollywood realized that the twists are trendy, so lately we have lots of movies with a final twist, most of which are stupid/cheap/illogical. People today set their expectations too damn high, especially if they see Shyamalan's name at the movie poster.
This movie is great. The atmosphere is great, the cast is fantastic, and what I mostly love about it, it's clever. It's logical. And whatever you say about it, it's CONSISTENT. Compared to the other Hollywood crap we are getting served lately, this is a VERY good movie.
Watch this, but not as a puzzle, but as a great movie in itself.
Well, just my 2 cents.