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*** Official THE VILLAGE Review Thread

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#1 of 26 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 29 2004 - 08:10 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Village". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.




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#2 of 26 Tim Glover

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Posted July 30 2004 - 02:22 AM

Saw this last night at the midnight premiere. I regret to say this film was disappointing. A big fan of MNS first 3 films, this one does not measure up. Even if you take the success of those films out of the picture, this film just doesn't work.

There are some good performances and some scary moments. The direction and production were not the issue. For me it was the script. Some of the dialougue left me flat.

The lead actress was tremendous though and expect good things from her in the future.

The theater was packed, several jarring moments of screams from the crowd, intensity high, expectations also high, but in the end just a strange movie that left me feeling cold and disappointed.

I give it Posted Image Posted Image out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#3 of 26 Patrick Sun

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Posted July 30 2004 - 02:31 PM

M. Night meets the Blair Witch...blindfolded. Overall, a bloated film that could easily been pared down by an hour, which sadly means that there's not a lot of meat on the bones of this film. This is the second M. Night film in a row that has failed to impress me. One of these days M. Night will make a conventional, but thought-provoking film with plenty of emotional content. This film wasn't it.

I'll give it 1.75 stars, or a grade of C-.
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#4 of 26 Jon Torres

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Posted July 30 2004 - 05:13 PM

I just saw the movie today and liked it very much. I think it was the strong performance by Bryce Dallas Howard and nice love story that just outweighed the bad. I'd give it Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image or a B. Most of the people in the theater seemed pretty pleased with the movie. I guess I must be losing it when everyone saw the twist, but me. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie, but it's one of those movies where watching it again wouldn't be as good as the 1st time.

In comparison to Shyamalan's other movies, this one was average. The Sixth Sense was nice, but I guessed the "big twist" midway through the movie. Unbreakable was good. Signs was a piece of crap IMO.

#5 of 26 Gruson


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Posted July 30 2004 - 06:01 PM

THUMBS DOWN. What a waste of time. Dialogue is SO monotone....

One of the most boring films I have ever seen. Ending was no surprise to me either.

Unbreakable is the only one of his films I have liked.

#6 of 26 Ronald_Pellet



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Posted July 30 2004 - 06:42 PM

* * Out of * * * * *


I'm a HUGE fan of M. Night's 3 earlier films..Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs. Not beceause of any (real or perceived) twist endings, but for his vision, use of silence and pauses, cinematography,musical scores, and for overall "style".

I went into The Village virtually spoiler free, and had only seen the teaser trailer some time ago...I approached this film with an open mind...

and left the film..wanting to almost erase the last 2 hours from my mind entirely...!

I've read it elsewhere..but it bears repeating...There's really no reason for this movie to exist !

The story (such as it is..) could be told in a 20 minute bad outer limits TV episode. The plot drags on for farrrrrr tooo loooong, even worse then the slowest sections of his earlier films. Yes, I know M. Night uses slow pacing to build mood and atmosphere, but come on man!..keep your friggin audience at least caring about the characters while they're doing nothing !

The large audience at the theatre on opening night with me, were clearly restless for most of the film. The audience was not your typical joe 6 pack crowd, lots of mature folks and obvious M. Night fans were there too.

I was hoping for at least a satisfying climax or even a thoughtful or emotional "wow, this part is just cool/wild/awesome"...but, the abrubt end ..when it finally came..just left me beyond empty...

The only reason 2 stars are given ..are..

1 star goes to the haunting and riveting score...James Newton Howard is a God!

1 star goes to the acting skills of Ms. Howard..who comes out of nowhere and is a revelation.....

M. Night has let me down...plain and simple....

I hope he can rebound from this disaster...I really do...

#7 of 26 Blu



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Posted July 31 2004 - 02:55 AM

Well I'm going to go against convention and say I enjoyed it a lot!
I didn't like 6th sense at all and loved the last two and put this one on par with them. There were some great scenes that showed some fine camera work. The way the story unfolded was slow but built tension along the way.

There were some great performances and combine that with a good unconventional story and this was a very good movie. The writing was the same quality of his previous movies with a slow gradual climb to the climax. The dialogue is slow and deliberate but with purpose.

All in all a great theater experience!

#8 of 26 Adam_S



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Posted July 31 2004 - 12:29 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image out of four, great movie

I love or really like all of Schymalan's films that I've seen; The Village is no exception. I wasn't at all really surprised by the twist, it didn't even feel like a twist to me. Instead, it felt like a natural progression of the story, one of the only ways it could have gone. Of all Schymalan's films, this may be the most emotional and community/familyi oriented; it has such a quietness to it and a sense of peace disrupted only by the others, the necessary intrusion of the outside world that will never leave us alone. The pacing of the film was simply superb, the acting was incredible, and the script... at first I felt that the script was only mediocre, that Schymalan was slipping on the unimportant scenes allowing stilted dialogue and phrases. Old fashioned diction is fine, but people don't speak in the florid way of 19th century diaries and novels (see mark twain), and the romantic underpinnings of the background and supporting characters' dialogue really bothered me. Until the ending explained why their manner of speech is just a little bit off, not really coming natural to people like Sigourney Weaver's or Brenden Gleeson's characters (or the other elders). Then I realized just how incredible a job Schymalan did, writing on the edge of the razor to balance between the dialogue that needed to be real and believable for all the important scenes but making it sound just a little bit off for certain characters some of the time. A truly brilliant job that will undoubtedly be overlooked.

And Roger Deaken's photography was incredible, as was Howard Shore's glorious score.

And as an added benefit, Schymalan's pretty muched grown out of the occasional obvious and overt stylistic directorial florishes, and as a result we get one of the best films of the year--because he's focused entirely on telling the story and entertaining an audience, he's never showing off or distracting anyone from the story. A wonderful film, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people didn't like it, though I can hardly comprehend disliking it, the beliefs and longings that make up this film's heart adhere almost too closely to my own.


#9 of 26 Dave Hackman

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Posted August 01 2004 - 01:35 AM

This is not a horror movie but a love story between two young individuals whose lives will impact an entire community. The viewer is given wider perspectives of the village, which in turn help to answer everything that occurs at the beginning. Bryce Howard and Joaquin Phoenix are excellent choices unlike Sigourney Weaver whom is simply awful. Adrien Brody plays his character with style but I thought this role was beneath him. The camera shots from the woods looked great and they brought back memories from my hiking days. This movie isn’t dialog driven so don’t expect any great verbal performances. I liked this movie for what it was, though the trailers really had me craving for a totally different plot.


#10 of 26 Lou Sytsma

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Posted August 01 2004 - 03:55 AM

The Village lags behind MNS other movies to a degree. The movie boasts the same strong technical aspects of his previous films. A bonus is the strong work of Bryce Howard whom looks like a real find.

I believe the marketing campaign will impair the movie's performance as it is not really the thriller that the adverts make it out to be.

This is a quiet and deliberate movie a reflection of the values the people of the Village have adopted. I agree the supposed twist felt like more of a natural progression of the story than a Gotcha item.

In time this one could age like a fine wine. Excellent cast.
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#11 of 26 Ben Silva

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Posted August 01 2004 - 06:55 AM

Adam, I couldn't agree with you more. I think this is his best movie. It is much more emotionally complex and intriguing than TSS, Unbreakable and Signs. Tremendous performances and beautiful cinematography. Also, the SCore was amazing, but it was composed by James Newton Howard, not Howard Shore.
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#12 of 26 Phil Dally

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Posted August 01 2004 - 01:53 PM

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Good twists and turns throughout the movie. Nothing can live up to The Sixth Sense, MNS' debut movie and signature, but The Village is a good "short story" movie.

I suppose you can tear the movie apart and say "why did this, this and this happen like that and why did that happen this way" and be greatly dissapointed with the whole film or you can smile and think "whoa, didn't expect that".

My wife and I can get two tickets, a large popcorn and two large drinks for under $20.00 bucks. We got our moneys worth.
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#13 of 26 Edwin Pereyra

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Posted August 01 2004 - 03:08 PM

M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village is a conceit, a deception, a mere contrivance and the entire film is all the more better for it.

The film’s marketing is as perfect as it can get because it mirrors its story and the lives of the people living in this 19th century community created only in the mind of its writer-director where on the surface everything is not what it seems to be. The film is not really so much about mood, plotting or whether a disabled lead character is able to manage a certain feat on her own as it is more about the ideas it try to present.

The film is terrifying not because of its scares but because of the idealistic view a few can instill among the many, especially fear. It is how some will do anything just to live a lifestyle that is perceived to be good for the many even with unforeseen sacrifices and consequences or having to lose a loved one.

Mr. Shyamalan’s previous films have been about a psychological horror-mystery (The Sixth Sense), the supernatural (Unbreakable) and a science fiction with spiritual overtones (Signs). All three require a suspension of disbelief without the requisite need of nitpicking the details. There is no reason why this film should not be approached in the same manner.

The Village will disappoint many who buy into the film’s marketing or with preconceived expectations. Those who are able to look past behind the film’s advertising campaign and see it as part of an overall package that complements the film will likely see some redeeming qualities.

In some odd irony, Mr. Shyamalan succeeds in disappointing some viewers as this would be the same type of reaction by many in a situation where, what if everything one has worked or lived for or has led us to believe has all been just a lie?

It is in this regard that M. Night Shyamalan is a master of deceit.

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#14 of 26 Dome Vongvises

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Posted August 01 2004 - 06:31 PM


Okay, but not earth-shattering.

#15 of 26 Pete-D



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Posted August 01 2004 - 07:11 PM

*** out of ***** (3/5)

A very interesting look at the concept of utopia.

Let me address one thing, the "ending" is not a problem in this film in my opinion at all. It's well built up and isn't as jarring as I think people have made it out to be. It's not some twist that stands on its own just to fool the audience, it pays off the entire movie's theme which is centerally about society and fear.

By the last 30 minutes, Night isn't even trying to conceal the "secret", because that's not what the movie is about, so those who are patting themselves on the back for "figuring it out" ... well, Night basically is easing the audience into the ending rather than going for the shock ending anyway.

The cast was great, I think Ashton Kutcher was originally penned for this picture along with Kirsten Dunst. I can say for certain that Joaquin Phoenix and newcomer Bryce Howard were probably the better choices for their parts. Bryce Howard by the end becomes the film's fairy tale-esque
heroine and definitely steals the picture.

Although I would not classify it as a horror movie, there are some spooky moments. The score is very well done, the cinematography is solid. The romance angle is generally well thought of although it's stifled a bit by my first criticism ...

Some of the dialouge can be ham-fisted at times. The character's emotions are generally believable though, even though Night continues his tradition of keeping them very restrained.

I would like to see Night make his films more individual though according to the story. I mean, I guess John Woo has to have his slow-motion doves and Night has to have some type of 2-shot dialouge scene that goes on forever without cutting away. But it'd be nice if each film had a different style/tone/mood.

I do hope he tackles something that challenges him to break his style for his next feature.

Overall though I would say the good outnumbers the bad. This is actually not that commercial of a film. Unlike Signs and Sixth Sense, which were generally well-recieved by the "Joe Six Pack" audience, I think The Village will end up more like 2000's "Unbreakable" with more a cult following.

#16 of 26 Ron-P



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Posted August 02 2004 - 04:21 AM

Adam summed it up nicely. I really enjoyed this film. 4/5 from me and a must buy DVD.
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#17 of 26 Carlo Medina

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Posted August 02 2004 - 06:51 AM

Adam and Edwin also summed it up nicely.

If I can offer a piece of advice to anyone watching a Shyamalan film it is this:

Go into it and just WATCH the movie.

Accept what he gives you onscreen. Don't try to be a step ahead of the director or the story. Take time to revel in the wonderful dialogue that M. Night so skillfully writes and his actors so skillfully deliver. Take time to appreciate the beautiful camera work. Take time to enjoy the wonderfully atmospheric score. Take time to appreciate the characters and what they are going through.

Trust me, most of you will "figure it out" anyway. But if you go into it looking for the twist, for the hook, you'll just set yourself up to be let down because while you've been looking for the hook, you might end up missing what is some of the best acting in a mainstream Hollywood movie so far this year.

As others have said: this is not just a horror/twist movie. It is a love story. It is a story of the pursuit of innocence. It is a story of characters and interpersonal relationships. It is a social commentary.

If you don't agree with it, that's fine. Not everyone will like this movie (has that ever happened with any movie in history?) and that's all right. It's not a matter of "getting it" or not getting it, of figuring it out or not. It's just trying to watch the movie as M. Night unfolds the story for you, and trying to savor each step.

#18 of 26 Matt Butler

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Posted August 02 2004 - 08:25 AM

What Carlo, Adam and Edwin said.

Great movie! ***1/2 (out of 4) I liked it alot more than Signs. TSS is still my fav though.
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#19 of 26 todd stone

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Posted August 02 2004 - 08:56 AM

I loved the movie from beggining to end. All in all evern with the great hype and knowing what might be the ending etc, the movie captured my attention.

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#20 of 26 Jefferson Morris

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Posted August 02 2004 - 08:59 AM

A solid effort from Shyamalan, I'd say: *** out of ****.

I agree with those who are saying that the best way to walk into this film is without too many preconceived notions (even those that may have been imparted by the film's horror-centric marketing campaign). Try not to worry about any "twists," and don't hinge your appreciation or enjoyment of the film entirely on its resolution (which is, admittedly, the least effective part of the film).

Instead, enjoy the performances, the mood, the atmosphere, and the scares along the way (which are fewer and generally milder than Signs, in my opinion). I found the film consistenly absorbing and was never bored even for a moment. As pointed out by others, there's also a utopian critique to be found here that should resonate with thoughtful audience members.

Impressive to me was how wilfully and effectively Shyamalan plays with the audience's fears, even after supposedly revealing the true nature of "those [they] do not speak of." I won't say more, for fear of spoiling anything.

Different viewers seem to prefer a different Shyamalan film above his others, so I'll give my favorite as a reference: Signs.

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