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Review: The Village

I'm glad I listened to my own instincts (and those of my sweetie) about seeing M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. It's met with about 56% "Ennh" from reviewers, per Rotten Tomatoes. I'm in the 44% that liked it.

I think a great deal of the reason for the 56% is the way the film was marketed, and the expectations of the viewers going into it. Really, that's the real twist of the movie: that it's an art film dealing in metaphor and symbol, rather than a horror flick. Oh, it has some creepy, tense moments, absolutely, but that's not really what the film is about. David and I both liked it. I suppose the English major in me eats that sort of stuff up, so maybe I'm the target audience, but I appreciated the theme of innocence lost at the price of awareness.

I suppose it's all obvious after you know the secret, but even though I had a pretty strong hunch of what the secret was at the outset, it didn't hinder my enjoyment at all. In fact, I'd say it heightened my sympathy for the characters a bit. I also utterly love a good dose of rich atmosphere, and the movie has that in droves. It's something I look for in video games, as well -- immersion goes a long way with me.

The only real criticism I have of the movie is that some of the actors seemed to have some problems with the stylized speech of the script. Otherwise, I found it entertaining. Not his very finest work, but thoughtful enough for those of us with artsy friends to enjoy a discussion about it over tea at a local cafe. I enjoyed it. Change your expectations of it being a monster movie (it's a horror movie, but on a mental level, rather than having big salivating aliens jump at you), and you might, too.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
tagplazen
Aug. 15th, 2004 03:02 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to see it. I tend to not agree with a lot of internet dwellers on movies, if I'm going to be entertained, than I feel okay just being entertained. It's like the two guys I walked out behind of Godzilla complaining that there was no 'character development'. WTF? Did someone ever say that a guy in a rubber suit movie is supposed to have character development? ;-)
pointedview
Aug. 16th, 2004 09:10 am (UTC)
Really. Don't they know the character development is only for the guys who get to say: "Auuugh, rook, Godzirra!" And, well, that's limited at best. :) I mean, we're not getting any extended pallid lip quivers and luminous oversized Eyes o' Fear a la Elijah Wood in LotR. :)
mumpish
Aug. 16th, 2004 08:51 am (UTC)
Big salivating aliens are the *POINT*
How on earth are we going to get the next 'Freddy vs...' franchise going if people are allowed to go around making art-hoouse horror films? Your anti-corporate attitude has been noted. Stay in view, please.

Seriously, I've felt that Shabadoo's films have declined linearly with respect to time. I think he's a one-trick pony and the formula hasn't worn well. Your positive review has perked my interest just enough to get this one back on my rental list, but only just. I still remember the Dark Tower debacle. If this is worse than 'Signs' you shall be ruthlessly mocked.
pointedview
Aug. 16th, 2004 09:06 am (UTC)
Re: Big salivating aliens are the *POINT*
*giggles* You are so funny. *hugs*

It is not worse than Signs. In my humble opinion, Signs was his worst film. If I had to rank the ones I've seen, for me, it'd go 1) Unbreakable, 2) Sixth Sense, 3) The Village 4) Signs (distant fourth). For David, he'd put Sixth Sense first, but he liked The Village, too. I don't know if he liked it better than Unbreakable, but I know he definitely liked it.

I suppose you could rent it, but I think the atmospherics will play better for you on the big screen. If you have a bargain matinee near you, might be worth a trip.

BTW, I tried to call Brian, but got his voice mail.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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