The Village (2004) Poster



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  • The residents of the quiet, isolated, 19th century town of Covington, Pennsylvania live "harmoniously" with mysterious creatures who reside in the surrounding woods. Because of a pact they have made, the townspeople do not enter the woods, and the creatures, known as "those we do not speak of", do not enter the village. Following the death of seven-year-old Daniel Nicholson, however, Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) proposes to pass through the woods in order to seek medical supplies from the outside Towns in hopes of preventing future deaths. The village elders, led by Edward Walker (William Hurt), deny his request, but soon it becomes apparent that the creatures are displeased and that the safety of the village may be threatened. Edit

  • The Village is based on a screenplay, originally titled "The Woods", by India-born filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, who also directed the film. Edit

  • The Village was filmed in two open fields three miles south of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, in a place called Cossart. An entire town was built in one field. Half of those buildings had complete interiors. The other field contained trailers, equipment, and a large temporary warehouse that contained duplicate interior sets for some of the buildings. All of the structures were torn down one month before the movie was released and the land was restored to open countryside. The movie also had other filming locations: Centerville, Delaware—Fall 2003 filming location of the "Ivy bumps into a fence"; Pedricktown, New Jersey—Fall 2003 filming location of the "Ivy almost gets run over by a truck" stunt scene and the "truck driver stops at a gas station to get the lowdown on the village", and Spring 2004 filming location of the "Ivy meets some rangers" scene; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—Location where still shots were taken of the "clinic members". Edit

  • Andrew (Wyeth) was the main inspiration for the look of the movie," explains Shyamalan. "In fact, for a long time I was talking to Disney about whether we could get the rights to one of his pictures for the poster. The grays, and the minimalism, and the light - that's all from Andrew," he reports. "And there's not a lot on the walls... He painted a lot of scenes from one doorway [looking] into another doorway, an old-fashioned bed and all. Creepy. Creepy beautiful.

    [from "A setting right out of Andrew Wyeth" By Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer Movie Critic] From "An American Cinematographer" article about The Village: Shyamalan wanted the landscape and visuals of the film to be stark: "I do prefer one chair on a porch rather than all kinds of things on the porch, so to speak. That alone helps create a certain sense of isolation.

    For more information about Wyeth's chairs, see here. Edit

  • No. In the three scenes where Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard) talks about his color, she doesn't name it. (1) Ivy to Lucius while at Resting Rock: Some people, just a handful, mind you, give off the tiniest color. It's faint, like a haze. It's the only thing I ever see in the darkness. Papa has it, too. Do you wonder what your color is? Well, that I won't tell you. It's not ladylike to speak of such things. You shouldn't even have asked. (2) Ivy to Lucius while on the front porch: "I saw you at the window. No, I won't tell you your color. Stop asking." (3) Ivy to her father after Lucius has been stabbed: "I cannot see his color." An alternate title for the film is "Grey," perhaps implying that Lucius' color was indeed grey. If this was so, it could mean that he was able to act as a sort of "go-between" between the two worlds—that of blind, faithful simplicity (yellow) and that of horrifying, brutal truth (red). Edit

  • Elders took an oath never to go back into the towns, e.g., Tabitha Walker (Jayne Atkinson): "You have made an oath, Edward, as all have, never to go back. You cannot break the oath. It is sacred." Mrs. Clack (Cherry Jones): "We have agreed never to go back, never." Edit

  • In the movie, Ivy asked to go, and Edward okayed it against the wishes of the other Elders. As to why Edward okayed Ivy's trip into the Towns for medicine, a number of possible explanations are given in his dialogue. Because Ivy was blind, she would not be able to see the discrepancies between the lifestyles of the Village and the Towns. Because Edward was in love with Lucius' mother Alice (Sigourney Weaver) but was already married to Tabitha, sending Ivy for medicines for Lucius was Edward's gift of love to Alice. Because Ivy had not pledged to never to go into the Towns and because it was her fiancé who was injured, it was her call to make. Because the Village had been created on the Elders' hopes of providing a better life, it was wrong to deny that hope to Ivy. Also, it had previously been suggested that the creatures in the woods would not attack a helpless person. If Edward or anyone else made the trip, it would have sent the message that anyone could safely enter the woods, and the secret of the Village would likely have been forfeit shortly thereafter. Edit

  • The actual cause of death was not divulged in the movie, but the script mentions the "violently-shaped rocks that the creature is laying on...its head lay half on and half off." From that, and from movie scenes of the death, e.g., here and here, we can make some educated guesses. The bruises on his face and blood in the corner of his mouth suggest a head injury. His inability to move suggests a broken neck or back. The script also mentions his inability to cry out, and the movie shows blood gurgling out of his mouth when he tries, a symptom consistent with chest injuries, such as a broken rib and/or a puncture to his lung, resulting in him drowning from the blood pouring into his lungs and preventing him from getting air. Hypoxia (lack of oxygen) to the heart and brain can result in death in six minutes or less, which would explain why he died so quickly. Edit

  • Ivy makes it to the end of Covington Woods and climbs over the fence to the Towns. She is spotted by Kevin Lupinski (Charlie Hofheimer), a park ranger from Walker Wildlife Preserve. He informs Ivy that she cannot enter the Preserve but, when Ivy identifies herself as a Walker and tells him that she lives inside the Preserve and is in need of medical supplies, he agrees to fetch the supplies from a guard shack and even brings back a ladder so that she can climb back over the fence. Meanwhile, the Elders are gathered around Lucius' bed, discussing the future of the village. Edward promises the Percys that Noah (Adrien Brody) will be brought back to the village and given a proper burial and that they will say that he was killed by one of the creatures, allowing them to keep up the pretense of the creatures and assuring the survival of the village. In the final scene, Ivy returns, kneels at Lucius' bedside, and, clutching his hand, says "I'm back, Lucius." Edit

  • It is revealed that the village was actually founded some time in the 1970s when Edward Walker, professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania, approached other people he met at a grief counseling clinic after his father had been murdered in a violent crime (they were all there because they had also lost a loved one to violent crime). He asked them to join him in "an idea" he had. From this grew "the village", a secluded town in the middle of a wildlife preserve (the Walker Wildlife Preserve) purchased with Walker's dead father's fortune, a place where they would be protected from any aspect of the outside world, even airplanes. Edit

  • The movie clearly suggests he was alive as the movie was ending. His mother was still attending him, and the color of his exposed skin is looking rosy and healthy, not deathly pale or gray. In a previous bedside scene, Mr. Walker says, very suggestively, "His will to live is strong," indicating Lucius was hanging in there while Ivy was away seeking "medicines from the towns." And there was no look of chagrin on Ivy's expression as she approached Lucius on the bed, as there would have been if she could no longer "see his color." I'm assuming she did. She faced him lovingly and confidently, as she said the movie's final words, "I"m back, Lucius." I'm certain they were saying he would recover and they would be together. Edit

  • Yes, Shyamalan is Jay, Kevin's superior at the guard shack. He's the one who said, "Don't get into conversations". His face is reflected in the cabinet window when Kevin pockets the medicine requested by Ivy. Edit

  • Yes, the script for this movie was stolen over a year before it was released, so the film was widely pre-reviewed on several Internet film sites including A copy can be obtained here. Edit

  • The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) at first gave The Village an R rating due to the sound effect of the knife going in and out of Lucius when he was stabbed the second time. Although the scene itself was not changed when the sound was removed, the MPAA changed the rating to PG-13. Edit

  • A lot of people have commented on the similarities. Basically, the plot (of Haddix's Running out of Time) is that a man starts an old-fashioned colony and all the adults know that it's really 1997, but they aren't allowed to tell the kids. A few of them get sick and a girl's mother sends her out to sneak into the real world for the needed medicine. Margaret Peterson Haddix actually did seek the advice of an attorney and considered pursuing the case, but never did. Copyright infringement is very hard to prove and, even if it did go to trial, it would have been her and Simon & Schuster (her publishing company) going up against M. Night Shyamalan and Disney. As such, the odds of winning weren't that great. Edit

  • Yes, they did re-film the ending, but if you read the original script, you will see it has the same twist as the final film. So no, changes were not made because the twist was leaked. It looks on the face of it like the ending change was a response to bad test screening results. Edit



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