The Village

Dir: M. Night Shyamalan
Star: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, Adrien Brody

It's probably fair to say that no director today can crank up the creep factor like Shyamalan. However, between this and Signs, it's clear he has a big problem with endings; the big revelation for the climax of this one is, again, about eighth-grade in quality. While Signs managed to keep going with drive and energy until the end, however, this one collapses under the weight of its own seriousness. In the middle of a forest, a community lives, isolated totally from the outside world by the creatures in the forest, "Those We Do Not Speak Of", as they are called - though they appear to be the subject of every other conversation, and also the topic of committee meetings on an apparently daily basis.

Lucius (Phoenix) wants to go through the forest, into a nearby town to get medicine, though the mission eventually falls to the town blind girl Ivy (Howard). And the movie gradually unravels, the further through it gets; there's one secret which didn't need to have been told, given the heroine's condition, and the final twist is totally laughable. And that's a shame, as the concept is creepy enough here to have worked on its own - if you don't get a chill as Ivy, looking like Red Riding Hood in her away strip, is stalked through the forest by...something, you've a better spine than me. But we were sniggering through the majority of this - the ponderous dialogue and faux-period atmosphere (how do these people survive? No-one seems to do any actual work!), seriously dilutes any fear.

September 2005

What big teeth you have!
See also: [Index] [Next] [Previous] [TC Home Page]