The VillageI never thought I'd say this, but after three enthralling films, it looks like M. Night Shyalamaramalamadingdong screwed the pooch on this one. Back in 1999, The Sixth Sense gave us those four little words, "I see dead people", as well as one of the most talked about endings in movie history. A couple years later, M.N.S. uses his Wonder Twin powers to tell a tale of comic book mythos in Unbreakable with its references to strengths and weaknesses, heroes and villains. After that, he brings us a story of crop circles, alien invasion, faith and redemption in Signs. Now we get some pretentious art house movie about a group of people living in an Amish-like community who are controlled into a fearful submission by some nasty creatures in the woods who are attracted by "the bad color". These creatures are also referred to as "Those we do not speak of" do not enter the village and the villagers stay out of the woods. I guess the town elders and these forest beasts negotiated a contract??? Only when trespassed upon do they show themselves to the puritanical inhabitants. However, when one of the hamlet dwellers is extremely sick, is it even talked about that someone go to the nearest town in order to get medicine. And how convenient, they would have to venture through the woods to reach the next town. Sounds like a good premise for a great suspenseful film. Too bad it doesn't turn out to be the latter. Lots of meaningful and time filling dialogue in the name of character development, and little on suspense. Lots of period costumes and scenery shots.

Maybe if the movie wasn't promoted in the trailers as a dark suspense film, I could have gone in with a better mindset. But in reality, if it was promoted as the kind of movie it turned out to be, I would have saved my $6.50 afternoon matinee price and bought something more useful like a manual on how to more effectively kick a movie director's ass. It's not as awful as Brotherhood of the Wolf, but it came pretty close. The Village really does test your patience while you sit there watching 10-15 minutes of filler material only to be treated by a few seconds worth of a situation that barely has you on the edge of your seat.

The acting was solid, but didn't really step up to the level of a good suspense film. Yeah they made attempts at leading up to a suspenseful moment or two, but that's it. Nothing breathtaking. The ending wasn't that much to write home about either. Even I anticipated how it would end up halfway through (mostly). The Village was a tremendous letdown for me. I hope M.N.S.'s next movie makes up for this puddle of porcupine spooge. This one definitely isn't going in my DVD collection. With a little luck, The Village will be tossed into the film category...'Those we do not speak of'.

The Village Website

RATING:  4/10


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