The Village is not your classic horror movie. You should not go into expecting ghosts, action, or anything like that. This doesn’t mean the movie is bad, it just means it’s different. And it’s certainly different from M. Night Shyamalan’s previous movies The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. You might actually argue that this movie marks the end of his romance with the general population. I think that things got too real for most of them. I also blame the studio’s marketing department for pushing this movie as a straight-up horror or even a creature feature. Something it’s clearly not.
Mr. M. Night, however, stole my heart with Signs, and I’m not willing to abandon him. And neither should you as all of his movies are not just authentic but also worth watching. Highly atmospheric and full of mystery, The Village follows the lives of people living in an isolated settlement in the 19th century. They live their lives in almost constant fear as unknown creatures lurk in the forest just outside the village. The elders seem to know something that most of them don’t know and so begins the quest for answers.
I won’t go into details when it comes to the plot because I don’t want to spoil anything. I also think you shouldn’t watch the trailer as it will give away certain elements of the movie as well. Just dive into this one and let yourself be transported into this strange village. For some, this will be a character study while for others it will be a scary horror movie. Although I think that most people will settle on the supernatural thriller definition. This means that whatever your perspective is, you will get two additional ones for free to consider.
Moreover, The Village is a movie that features a story that can be interpreted as a story about a cult. The only problem with that interpretation is that any human community, including the one you live in, can be labeled as a cult. It’s also political and I will leave that whole concept to explore all by yourself. There you go, if you’re looking for reasons why you should watch this movie, I just gave one. Try to see how it’s similar to the world we live in today. What all of this means is that if you want to go deep, you can.
And if you want to just watch an intriguing thriller, you can do that as well. The cast did a terrific job and it features a lot of great actors. I mean, we’ve got Sigourney Weaver, Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, and Adrien Brody among others. Joaquin Phoenix gave an especially good performance standing out amongst the giants. All of them had to go through 19th century “boot camp” run by M. Night to better understand how life was back then. And although it was quite different, you still have a sense that this could be any small town in America or anywhere else in the world.