The Village

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The Village
Review (7/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

M. Night Shyamalan's latest, The Village, is pretty much what we have come to expect of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. A pretty straight-forward but rather unconventional story, a somewhat slow-moving movie, a couple of frights, a few twists here and a couple of turns there - he has developed a fairly standard trademark and The Village fits that bill.

Without getting into too much detail, The Village is basically about a small group of Amish-type people who live in a tiny village surrounded by a forest. The people in the village live in constant terror of a mysterious pack of monsters that live in the forest and make periodic visits to the village to ensure that the villagers are reminded of one thing - be afraid or we will kill you. The villagers do not leave their settlement ever because leaving would mean venturing into the forest and people who venture into the forest do not return.

The Village's cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson and Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron Howard's daughter). Howard and Brody are the standouts in this cast but I will not get into the dynamics of their characters for fear of divulging any surprises in the movie. Shyamalan, who usually makes a cameo appearance in his movies, might have a difficult time appearing in a movie that features only white townsmen and townswomen. Whether or not he is able to pull it off, I will leave that one up to you to figure out when you see the movie.

Without getting too much into the particulars of The Village, I will say that I did enjoy the movie. I am not a huge fan of M. Night but I have enjoyed his movies for their uniqueness. The Village manages to deliver that same sort of peculiarity. The movie isn't nearly as scary as I would have liked. And it did get to a point where I was sort of able to figure out what was going on (although he did do a good job of leaving you guessing yourself). As I said earlier, it was slow in some parts. Many of the actors and actresses did not have a significant impact on the movie. But I will commend Shyamalan for trying something different and making a movie that was interesting enough to keep the audience wondering what the hell was going on. I am sure that there will be people who love this movie and people who absolutely despise it and are left to question "Is that it?" (I heard one person say it was the worst movie they have ever seen). I liked it and will boldly predict that if you like M. Night and his three other movies, you should be at least satisfied with The Village. It may not be as good as The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable but it is still worth a trip down to the local cinema to check it out. The Village is M. Night Shyamalan at his best if you like him, or I suppose at his worst if you do not. Like the people from The Village, you have been warned.

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