Anytime you’re preparing to watch a movie, there’s a certain level of expectation – whether you have seen the preview or not- and when the movie starts, if you’re anything like I am, your anticipation skyrockets. On most occasions, these levels plummet straight down within the first few minutes. Only a few movies are able to wholly capture the attention of the audience throughout an entire movie. The Village is one of those movies you’re never sure if it appalled or intrigued you. It is filled with plot twists that you rarely see coming but at the same time, the feasibility of the plot is trivial at best.
The village in the movie goes by the name of Covington and is located deep in the isolated woods of Pennsylvania. The residents live in constant fear of being attacked by nameless creatures and have fortified their community with a large barrier of oil lanterns that are mostly manned with lookouts. The protagonist of the film Lucius Hunt tries to leave the village in search of medical supplies but is denied permission by the Chiefs.
The daughter of the elder chief falls in love with Hunt and they plan to wed, but he is stabbed by a man who also has feelings for the Elder chief’s daughter –Ivy Elizabeth Walker. Ivy who is blind goes out of the village after her father grants her permission behind the other Chiefs backs to look for medicine to help her injured love, Hunt. The story continues with one twist after another till we find out the unspoken creatures are actually members of that very village whose task is to scare the residents into never leaving the village.
The writer, producer and director of the movie, M. Night Shyamalan is known for a thrilling and mysterious essence in all his movies, some of the more notable ones being ‘Unbreakable’, ‘Signs’, and ‘Sixth Sense’. The style is not unique amongst thriller and horror movies, his panache, however, spills over to the audience, making you feel the fear, the excitement and a myriad of other emotions. In the village, he plays around with these emotions and adds a scent of romance which causes one to fully invest in the film. On the flipside though, your mind will be trying to make sense of the happenings and the lack of logic in the movie can be a bit of a turnoff.
Though the movie was rated a huge pile of average on most rating websites, it did manage to get nominated for a sizeable number of awards, it, however, only went on to win two of those 12 awards.
The movie has also been on the receiving end of plagiarism claims as its story is said to mirror Margaret Peterson Haddix’s book ‘Running out of time’. Luckily, a lawsuit was never filed against the movie.
In summary, The Village is an interesting film that will at one point make you feel like you’re part of their community and at other points make you question why such a movie would ever be produced. It’s worth a watch and you might just love it but there’s an equal chance you’re going to be intrigued by it, but still hate it. The Village Voice team rate it – 3 stars out of 5.