In the small English village of Midwich everybody and everything falls into a deep, mysterious sleep for several hours in the middle of the day. Some months later every woman capable of child-bearing is pregnant and the children that are born out of these pregnancies seem to grow very fast and they all have the same blond hair and strange, penetrating eyes that make people do things they don't want to do.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
A great classic thriller, unfortunately overshadowed by the spectacular psychological thriller released the same year - Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
Village of the Damned is a very well-made thriller that seems to have been overlooked because of the sheer magnitude of its competition - Psycho. Both of these films are testaments to the idea that low budgets are very capable of producing great films. It is not the size of the budget that matters, it is the skill of the filmmakers and the actors. Village of the Damned makes use of a variety of very easily done but also very effective special effects, such as the boundary across which all people and animals lose consciousness, the creepy eyes on those kids, and their hypnotic powers.
The discussion of the exact same phenomenon happening to a few remote towns all over the world does a lot to show what these kids can do, and it increases the dramatic tension of the film as a whole. Cheaply made, but also very well made because a lot of thought was obviously put into it, Village of the Damned is a timeless thriller, even in black and white. When you watch a movie like this, if you are the kind of person who is so superficial about your movies that you refuse to watch black and white films, keep in mind that black and white photography REQUIRES good acting, to put it in the immortal words of Orson Welles. You can't have black and white photography and bad acting, the film would never work. Village of the Damned takes black and white photography and fills it with excellent acting, a fascinating story, and good direction that makes me wonder why this was the only film that Wolf Rilla ever directed.
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