The Village (2004)

dir. M. Night Shyamalan

In a remote village, seemingly circa 19th century, inhabitants are terrorised by violent creatures dwelling in the surrounding woods. When it’s necessary to get medicine for an injured resident, Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard) ventures out to find it. The fact she’s blind is handled extremely poorly – she seems to see everything she needs to, with no use of her walking stick at all most of the time. But as she veers closer to the truth about the woods’ creatures, the plot veers entirely off the rails. A Shyamalan film from the 2000s was all but guaranteed to contain some kind of twist ending, and this habit is arguably at its worst in The Village, where shock value was quite obviously prized over plotting or credibility. Yet even before this, the stereotyped characters, stilted dialogue and formulaic camera movements suck any intrigue out of The Village. It is hard to have an effective twist when the world is so mundane in the first place.

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