I believe there are two generalised groups of people to watch M. Night Shyamalan (MNS) films. One attends to enjoy the film for the interesting perspective, twisty plots and perhaps some good scares from enjoyable films that may not be perfect. The other perceives the films to be predictable, not scary and rather stupid because they guess what’s gunna happen (or IMDb forum posters).
I am part of the first. When I saw The Sixth Sense for the first time cinema sized, I was truly freaked. I have an annoying history of going to these films alone. I went home to an empty house that night, I spent the whole night on the phone to friends. Same with Signs. Went alone. Thankfully not alone after film, but it didn’t have the same impact. So I tried, in vain, to coerce people into accompanying me (but I’m far too unattractive to be seen with in public) to see The Village, so ended up alone again.
I was slightly apprehensive about going to The Village, let alone going alone. The trailer did a very good job of creeping me out. So I bit the bullet and went anyway.
I’m going to do my very best to not say anything to give any hint to twists or even plots. These films are best seen with little prior knowledge (I’m kinda saying stop reading if you want the best experience. But be sure to come back and read!)
MNS chose an excellent cast. Bryce Howard is superb as Ivy, Joaquin Phoenix’s Lucius is unsurprisingly stoic. The biggest shock, even though it shouldn’t have been, was the, at first unrecognised, Adrien Brody. His portrayal of Noah blew me away.
I’ll get the obvious out of the way now. There were some excellent scares. I’m not big on the jumping normally, but I had big reactions to a couple of scares, and even was afraid to look at one point. I didn’t yelp like a woman in the back of the cinema though. As a person affected by the sight of blood, I am free in saying that this was a rather bloodless film. There is some, but no splattering or people with deep lacerations and the like. So The Village is more a thriller. I actually enjoyed being scared by it. Not something I like often.
MNS has an interesting passion for colour. The Village is all about the colour. Beautifully shot and directed, it follows possibly the simplest of stories, but contrasts it with deep characters and intriguing conflicts. Add actors who have the chops to show the best and it’s a mixture for success. For me to be truly scared I have to totally believe why the character would be so. Nicole Kidman, in The Others, achieved it and so does this cast.
I totally enjoyed my inner turmoil of knowing that something has been dispelled in the plot as not scary, yet, I still held onto the established irrational fear. I remember my brain going, “you’re a dumb-ass!”, and my body trying to retreat into the seat. Fun!
If you are a scaredy-cat then wait for the dvd. If you like the feel of your heart racing and are up for a thought provoking, thoroughly enjoyable and interesting film experience. Then visit The Village.