The Village [DVD] 
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Atmospheric psychological thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Covington is a small rural Pennsylvanian village locked into an unusual pact: beyond the village boundaries lurk terrifying creatures, but these creatures have agreed to stay outwith the villagers' territory so long as the villagers do not enter the woods. However, this precarious arrangement is challenged when Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix), a bold and curious young man, decides to find out what lies beyond the narrow borders of his hitherto confined existence. Adrien Brody, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver co-star.
Even when his trademark twist-ending formula wears worrisomely thin as it does in The Village, M. Night Shyamalan is a true showman who knows how to serve up a spookfest. He's derailed this time by a howler of a "surprise" lifted almost directly from "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim," an episode of The Twilight Zone starring Cliff Robertson that originally aired in 1961. Even if you're unfamiliar with that Rod Serling scenario, you'll have a good chance of guessing the surprise, which ranks well below The Sixth Sense and Signs on Shyamalan's shock-o-meter. That leaves you to appreciate Shyamalan's proven strengths, including a sharp eye for fear-laden compositions, a general sense of unease, delicate handling of fine actors (alas, most of them wasted here, save for Bryce Dallas Howard in a promising debut), and the cautious concealment of his ruse, which in this case involves a 19th-century village that maintains an anxious truce with dreadful creatures that live in the forbidden woods nearby. Will any of this take anyone by genuine surprise? That seems unlikely, since Emperor Shyamalan has clearly lost his clothes in The Village, but it's nice to have him around to scare us, even if he doesn't always succeed. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a young man, Lucius and a young blind woman, Ivy who fall in love but in a terrible crime Lucius is gravely injured and Ivy takes it upon herself to travel beyond the woods, to the towns, for medicine.
This is not a straightfoward horror/spooky film. Its much more psychological than The Sixth Sense, there are no dead people, no supernatural happenings of that kind. This is much more about people and fear. Its about a group of people and their fear of the real world. Its also about their inability to escape. Excellent film! in my opinion, more interesting than his other films. Leaves you thinking about it for ages afterwards.
As I say, it is a twist-dependant film, which you may come to expect from Shyamalan, and to be fair, which I did. I expected there to be a twist or twists in the film, but what I never saw coming was what actually happened. The real test with a twist-dependant film is whether you can enjoy it as much watching it repeatedly. On this note, I have to say I have watched it a number of times and I'm not sick of it yet. Even that I know whats coming I find I can still engage with the human stories involved within this film. If its one thing Shyamalan does well is to build suspense and tension, which he does here to great effect. Enhancing the eerie-ness of the woods surrounding the village with haunting effects and music. Theres an almost palpable sense of fear among the villagers, even as they go about their daily routines, destroying or burying anything of the colour red, constantly vigilant against the ominous threat of 'those we dont speak of'.
Despite the horror/thriller premise of the film, its emotion that drives the story. In fact the story is moved foward solely by three characters; Lucius, Ivy and Noah. Lucius, a quiet, socially-awkward young man who 'is not fond of speaking'.Read more ›
The negative reviews might also be explained by the weakness of the plot compared to the director's other films. The plot is admittedly quite easy to see through, and is not as gripping as the plots to some of Night's earlier films. But putting that aside for a minute, and now that the film is no longer in the cinemas and we can appreciate it for what it is, maybe we can see some things differently. The acting in the film cannot be faulted at all, especially from Bryce Dallas Howard, who is fantastic as Ivy. Joaquin Phoenix (Lucius), Sigourney Weaver (Alice) and William Hurt (Edward Walker) also slip into their characters with a lot of conviction. The actors also prepared for shooting the film by learning the tools and the trades of 19th-century rural life via several weeks of hands-on experience, something that also shows in the film. The camera work is better-done than most people care to notice, often using the surrounding countryside and woodlands to stirring, eerie effect, and the soundtrack (more on this later) is perfectly composed for a film such as this.
In my opinion, whether or not you'll like the film when you watch it depends entirely on what sort of person you are. If you have an outgoing, happy-go-lucky personality and like watching films packed with action and excitement, then you probably won't like it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a massive fan of horror movies, that rarely spook me I've probably seen hundreds. Anyway. Picked this up cheap in a charity shop, had of course heard of it but have not had... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ozymandias
Haunting, thoughtful and very well cast. Suspenseful rather than scary but absolutely worth seeing.
The score, the costumes, the attention to detail were excellent as were all... Read more
I was all prepared to laugh at this given its reputation as a bit of a turkey and when you try to explain what's going on to someone in the slow first half, you're all prepared to... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mario
M Night Shyamalan went downhill with this film by having promising horror element but then is just a disappointment with miscast actors such as Joaquin Phoenix who just worked with... Read morePublished 13 months ago by josh91
Great film...unfortunately the disc I got was a bit scratched so haven't been able to watch it all the way through as gets to a point where it doesn't do anythingPublished 13 months ago by Miss Angela W Blay